If you haven't yet seen it go to C-Span, find it, and watch. One of these folks is likely to be a Presidential or at least a Vice Presidential nominee. It would be good if you make up your own mind instead of letting The Media do it for you. Once upon a time we had some honorable journalists who could be trusted to interpret things for us. But the days of I. F. Stone are gone.
I have watched it twice and still cannot get past the fact that everything Joe Leiberman says sounds like whining. But that's OK because his views are better suited to those of a moderate Republican if such an animal had reached the edge of extinction. I can't for the life of me see what it is about him that attracts anybody from the Democratic party.
John Kerry seems turgid as always. He makes Al Gore seem relaxed. This is a New England sort of style that plays nicely in the region but outside of it just seems weird and nerdy. In contrast Dennis Kuchinich seemed almost normal, and Bob Graham and Dick Gephardt predictably boring boring boring.
I just glanced over this and realized that I hadn't mentioned John Edwards. I expect that is because he is the most totally forgettable person I have run across in a while. I know his father worked in a factory and that his mother's last job was for the post office because HE'S TOLD ME A MILLION TIMES. He is pretty pablum and says the same thing over and over. I want to like him. I really do. But he is a classic example of familiarity breeds contempt.
I was disappointed in Howard Dean's "performance" in that he seemed rigid and very uncharismatic. His closing in particular was awkward. He's gotta fix that if he intends to stay in the race very much longer. Mostly he has to work on the "regular guy" part of his image. He really is the only viable (meaning not Al Sharpton) candidate with a backbone. But he can't get elected unless people believe he is who he appears to be.
I have to admire George Stephanopoulos handling of the format. He kept it under control but lively, pointing to "what they're saying" about each of the candidates and asking them to respond. They are very fair questions but some of the wimpier candidages (Gephardt) seemd to think the question was too tough. Sheesh, why is that man in the race?
I totally don't get why these guys don't understand Karl's approach on a gut level and react appropriately. But that is a rant for another day.