Barack Obama had won in Iowa, and he knew he was winning the New Hampshire Democratic debate. Hillary Clinton, oxymoronically, desperately tried to simultaneously evince her decades of experience and herself as an agent of change. Obama calmly took her challenges head on, and as she pursed her lips in a scowl, he was as eloquent as ever. Still reeling from her third place finish in Iowa, things got worse for Hillary, as John Edwards reminded everyone of her poor showing, and smoothly baited her. Clinton lashed out, yelling and spewing venom, and in the split screen, Edwards was straining not to laugh at her. The only change in Bill Richardson’s strategy is, rather than aiming for Hillary’s VP spot, he is now lobbying for everyone’s VP spot. Hillary, meanwhile, is falling fast, clawing desperately at the slippery slope, and Obama appears poised to take New Hampshire.

Earlier, the Republican debate wasn’t nearly as heated. Mitt Romney fought back barbs from John McCain and Mike Huckabee. Fred Thompson seemed awake for nearly the entire debate. Ron Paul spoke of economic perils, but didn’t effectively link that to the questions asked. Rudy Giuliani seemed cool under fire, and it was a much needed win for him, between poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Despite winning 8% of Wyoming’s delegates earlier in the day, Duncan Hunter wasn’t invited to participate.

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