Nevada Debate Impressions, Volume 5

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Before The Bourbon Room heads to the spin room, final impressions.The debate was a stand-pat affair. Unlike the New Hampshire debate, Clinton did not come in with a game plan to change the dynamic by driving issue differences with Obama. All three held close to well-articulated policy positions and made little or no attempt to draw blood or beat one another up. Clinton and Obama had strong moments, as already discussed. In the end, the debate was about holding ground already won in Nevada and if any candidate gained here it was probably Clinton because she more artfully and regularly brought Nevada themes and Nevada issues into the mix. Her level of confidence here was striking and smooth for a candidate who in the past made references to personal stories sound like something she was reading off an index card -- tonight it sounded less formulaic and that, probably, made her tonight's slight winner.