How do you rate each candidate's debate performance?
Edwards Substance: A. From terrorism to Israel to health care, he knew his stuff.
Edwards Delivery: A-. [He was] occasionally rocked by some of Cheney's very tough shots. But he took the worst Cheney had to offer and gave as good as he got.
Cheney Substance: A. You may or may not like where he stands, but he was well-briefed. Except for Halliburton, where he inexplicably didn't have a defense -- but you can't defend the indefensible.
Cheney Delivery: B. The growling, scowling visage wears thin. Looked like if he smiled his face would crack and his head would split in two.
Edwards Content: B plus. Edwards made several serious points about Iraq.
Edwards Delivery: B. He did fine, though he seemed to lose his concentration toward the end.
Cheney Content: B. He has a command of policy, but deflected (to some extent unfairly) real questions about Iraq by attacking Kerry's past positions.
Cheney Delivery: A. He was tough and calm and pretty amusing.
The debate was good, broad and interesting. Two talented candidates offered sharply contrasting visions. Edwards was better in the first half, while Cheney got better as the night wore on.
Both men cited statistics and history and offered a bevy of great one-liners. However, some of Cheney's factual claims are already coming under criticism (e.g. dismissing Edward's "90 percent of coalition casualties" claim and saying he never met Edwards until Tuesday night).