Okay, this wasn't the clear victory that I saw with the Presidential debate. Cheney was quick to jump all over Edwards' voting record, which is not what most of us would like it to be. But I think that when even an intelligent man like Cheney is involved with a failure of an administration like Bush's, full of pork barrel excesses and sheer disregard for the American people, he can't have much to say when he's trying to defend it. If that makes sense. Cheney is not stupid, but he is not having an easy time of trying to make it sound like the past 4 years have done anything to improve the lot of life for America. He is much clearer and much more elegant with his words than the President. But he's still saying the same things. He's still using personal attacks and still trying to connect the dots from 9/11 to Iraq. Those dots can't be connected, and anyone would sound stupid trying.
I think it was very important that the Halliburton thing came back again. There is nothing more sinister about the Bush administration than that big fat elephant known as the no-bid contract.
And, what kind of heat does Cheney have to be feeling in order to express to the nation that he thinks there is a looming possibility of a terrorist taking a nuclear weapon and detonating it in a major American city? I've said it before. If the nation's leaders really thought this was a possibility, they wouldn't be going around saying so . . . they'd have cancelled the debate and Cheney would be in a war room working on getting that freako disarmed. The American people need to understand that when he says these things, he's just trying to scare you. He's like your creepy uncle who says that the basement is haunted and then tells you to get some ground beef from the downstairs deep freeze.
All in all, I'd have to say I think this is pretty much a draw. It's unfortunate- you have two intelligent men debating one another, one whose boss is a complete asshat but whose record he have to defend in order to keep his job, and another who represents change and youth and has an answer to everything. Cheney did a good job of defending his boss, although the defense is of something inherently flawed. Edwards did a good job of shutting him down, but came off as a little to slick.
I agree with the major media outlets- this is no obviously hardcore spanking (ooh, I'm gonna show up on some funky web searches now- watch my hit count go up!) like the presidential debate. But then, this was not meant to be a breakout event. The vice presidential race is secondary in all accounts and this established Edwards as a solid choice for vice president. And that's all we can really hope for.