The pacing of the debate was all off. It started way too leisurely--hugging, posing for photos, mentioning your horoscope sign--and became strangely frenetic.
I liked that the forum lacked the stiff formality typical of most televised debates/forums. Warmth and friendliness are good things. But the pacing was all wrong. Very unfortunate.
In terms of the questions or issues discussed, that was somewhat disappointing as well. I felt that the question were too general--prompting very general responses.
However, most inexcusable was that the questioners failed to ask about the major issues of the day: the War in Iraq, immigration reform and climate change. Why?
In terms of the candidates, we learned very little new about them and their positions--other than that Gravel is a bit of a loony tune. Probably a nice guy, but a loony tune.
I don't think anybody won because the format was so bad. Actually, Obama is the winner because he seemed comfortable, didn't yell, didn't insult anybody, looked in command, knew what he was talking about, mentioned his wife and offered a moment of levity.
The children from Memphis.
And Governor Deval Patrick.
The debate format.
Mentioning your horoscope sign.
Tavis Smiley and whomever was directing the debate coverage for failing to properly manage the flow of the forum.