So much for the "kum-ba-ya" debate from the weekend before last. For those of you who did not view the slugfest yesterday between Obama and Clinton, you can catch it here at CNN.com.
My two cents is that, realizing this is somewhat subjective, Barack ultimately got the better of Hillary (although there's other commentators who disagree with me) in the dustup. I thought Barack responded firmly and specifically to the charges leveled at him by Hillary, and looked relatively unflappable. It seemed to me that Hillary was just a little caught off guard by the persistent reaction by Barack to her attacks. I also think that she looked like she was enjoying the attacks on Obama - that's a bit much for me. I didn't much like the conflict up there - it was entertaining - but I guess it had to happen, and probably made BO a better candidate yesterday.
Barack was able to crack a few funny jokes, especially when asked if he thought Bill Clinton was the first black president. Edwards, on the whole, did a very good job of coming off like the adult who stayed above the fray, and was also quite funny a couple of times. Overall he looked good, but it's weird - lately he seems to be the one who is shortest on specifics, and longest on the emotional pitches. That's how it came across to me, anyway.
Its hard to say whether Clinton's attacks will keep her in the lead; I don't particularly think negative attacks make a candidate look presidential. In that sense, it makes sense for Bill to be the attack dog - at some level it doesn't matter if he looks bad. As of now, Obama leads by a large margin in South Carolina according to a poll released today. California and NY, by contrast, Clinton still maintains sizeable leads. Who knows if a South Carolina win by Obama will move that needle.
In any event, for whatever differences these candidates have, I'd much rather have any of the 3 Dems running the country than any of the jokers on the GOP side. (Well, McCain isn't so much of a joker, but more GOP rule is, I think, badbadbad.)