To form your own verdict on the Ohio Democratic debate, watch CNN here. Otherwise, pass off other people’s opinions as your own by reading the reaction below:

Obama measures up: In the first Democratic primary debate 10 months ago, Hillary Clinton didn’t have to charge that Barack Obama wasn’t ready to be president on Day One. He did the work for her. He was halting, mumbling, and tentative. The only confidence he instilled was in Clinton. Nineteen debates later, he’s improved so much that if he’s not ready to be president on Day One, you could imagine he might get there after a little study. — John Dickerson,Slate

A question of style: …though it sometimes took a magnifying glass to measure their differences on policy, the distinctions in their personal styles were visible from satellite. Clinton was clearly intent on positioning herself as a fighter who could take on Republicans in the fall and all enemies, foreign and domestic, after that. Obama by contrast seemed far more interested in establishing himself as a cool conciliator, who could bridge the differences that divide his party and the nation. — Time

Where was the righteous indignation?: What happened to “shame on you”? Hillary Clinton’s anger over the weekend at Barack Obama’s attacks on her health care plan flattened into a wonky debate at last night’s MSNBC debate, with the former first lady earnestly arguing about mandates and cost control. Now obviously you can’t appear too angry in a televised faceoff, but her sense of righteous indignation evaporated in the torrent of details, as the candidates defended their respective plans. — Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post

Hillary needed a moment of truth: Near the end of the debate, Obama moved aggressively to provide the same sort of valedictory moment that Clinton had given during the last debate, in Austin, Texas. But coming from Obama, who has the momentum now and appears to be neck and neck with Clinton in that state and Ohio, the remarks did not have any of Clinton’s seeming wistfulness and fatalism detected last week by many commentators. Even as he complimented her as a “magnificent public servant,” Obama appeared to be thanking Clinton from his newfound position of strength, dispensing a front-runner’s graciousness. “She would be worthy as a nominee,” Obama said obligingly. Then he added the kicker. “Now, I think I’d be better. . . . “– The LA Times

Not risky enough: At times – such as when she pushed him to denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in stronger terms – she seemed to go too far, but as the candidate who is trailing, she needed to take some risks and shake things up. In the end, she may have chafed some viewers but succeeded in taking the fight to Obama. Nonetheless, he seemed to emerge unscathed after skating through some verbal thin ice of his own.The Boston Globe

Too much whining: …any sympathy is tempered by the fact she has only herself to blame. Her uneven performance, punctuated by one of the strangest complaints I have ever seen in a presidential debate, likely dashed her last hopes of victory. The self-pity behind the complaint was shocking and unappealing. — NY Daily News  

A jab and parry: If the political winds in Ohio and Texas are blowing in Barack Obama’s favor—and polls in each state show Obama gaining strength—Hillary Clinton did little during Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland to change the weather. — Mother Jones blog

Incidentally, Matthew Santos IS Barack Obama: watch here (warning — contains West Wing spoilers.)

Peter Fray

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