I watched some of this but ditched it when USA's great new show "Breaking Bad" came on at 10. I love that show. The candidates seemed at pains to be civil to each other, although McCain has this half sneer on his face when he talks about anyone else, particularly Romney. Tim Russert tried his best to ruin the debate. He is such a partisan hack. They might as well have had that idiot Olbermann. Russert asked this question that compared a list of economic statistics from the beginning of Bush's term to now, and made this loaded argument that it showed Bush had fouled up the economy from the great economy Clinton left him. The problem with the question is that a snapshot taken at a carefully chosen moment is more misleading than revealing. Is it fair to compare an economy that was on the last legs of the internet/Y2K bubble with one that had endured the bubble breaking, 9/11, two wars, a real estate bubble breaking, the rise of the BRIC countries with their huge demand for resources, etc? Of course, none of the candidates got into that, nor did they have the time to. Russert is just such a fat pompous jerk, he made Brain Williams look competent. My take on the candidates: Romney. Came across as weak. Beginning to look more like a staff advisor than a leader. McCain. Bungled a couple of questions but doing a decent job of lying about his record and pulling the wool over voters' eyes with media's considerable help. Main problem is Limbaugh hates him. Guiliani. The cockiness is gone, has look of a beaten man who knows it. Huckabee. One of his better debates. Made a good point that stimulus package will be funded with money borrowed from China and used to buy crap imported from China, but never proposed an alternative or actually opposed the current package. All his talk of Arkansas is getting very tiring. We're not electing the next governor. Paul. Scored direct hits on budget and over ambitious military plans. Handed Brain Williams his head on a "have you stopped beating your wife" question on social security. Tripped up McCain on PPT question. Too bad he was barely allowed to talk. Only candidate to get repeated cheers from studio audience. Bottom line. This will soon be a Romney, McCain, Paul contest. McCain seems to have the support of the media and party hacks. Romney is getting conservative support by default. Unless he steps his game up, he could see these supporters become disaffected and break to Paul. Paul has money and total disdain for the party establishment and media, both of whom desperately want him out of the race.