The New Hampshire Debates

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Is it possible, in hindsight on the New Hampshire presidential debates, that Republican John McCain won the Democratic fight last night?

That is, did he draw the independent excitement seekers into the Republican tent with his jabbing and poking at frontrunner George Bush-with his curt warning to Alan Keyes, as well, to stop taunting him on right-to-life issues. “Next time use decaf,” McCain quipped.

It was almost nasty, but not exactly negative campaigning.

So the question is whether John McCain took the play and New Hampshire’s independent voters from Bill Bradley’s not-so-fast break in the closing quarter against Al Gore? Bradley wants someone to nail Gore as the lobbyists’ candidate from the Bill Clinton bunker, but he doesn’t enjoy attacking the way McCain does, when he accused Bush of “spinning like Bill Clinton.”

Two two-man fights that spill into each other: your New Hampshire scorecard – in the first hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Mark Jurkowitz, media critic for the Boston Globe, David Frum, Senior Editor at the Weekly Standard and author of “How We Got Here.”