In one shot, Edwards: (1) Took the gay marriage issue off the table, (2) Paid Cheney respect, (3) Notified the general public that Cheney has a lesbian daughter, (Most likely big news to that chunk of the population that still thinks Hussein was behind 9/11). (4) Killed with kindness, (5) Took Cheney off his game for about the next three questions, (6) Inoculated himself from “culture attacks” for the rest of the evening, (7) Made the most open political statement yet in support of gay rights and the plight of domestic partners.
BTW, I was interested in this take on the debate at Space Waitress. Although she seems firmly in the Kerry camp, her intuition seems remarkably free of partisanship. At this point in the election, I would say this unselfconscious and unspun quality is pretty rare.
I appreciated her comment about the dryness of the encounter. I think it really was pretty perfunctory. I thought her comments about how Edwards interacted with Gwen Ifill were also interesting. The t.v. talking heads made a big point about how confident and composed Edward’s seemed. Now I’m not so sure. What the Space Waitress is picking up on might be a controlling or competitive aspect of Edward’s personality, but it might also be the (understandable) expression of nervousness.