I’ll admit to not having paid very close attention to this one. I don’t think the mandates argument broke any new ground — Clinton has me convinced that she’s right on the policy, but doesn’t have me convinced that this is significant enough to make up for the other problems with her candidacy. The way Russert handled the Louis Farrakhan issue was, I thought, pretty egregious but about what I expect from him. Clinton’s classless handling of the aftermath was also about what I expect from her at this point. Beyond that, I just don’t know. Through my own eyes, i.e. those of a person who’s watched about a million Democratic primary debates at this point, the whole thing seems tedious. How does it seem to voters in Ohio and Texas who are watching these two go at it for a first or a second time? I don’t know.
I will give props to the moderators for the what can you tell me about Russia’s new leader question. I thought that was a good one. Out of left field questions are fun because the candidates don’t have canned responses, but you need to find one that’s legitimate and substantive and I think that one was. It reminded me, actually, that there are a whole host of things — our relationship with India, for example — I wish I’d seen the candidates debate in more detail during this long process.