Peppery on signature issue of spending cuts, salty on Iraq and Rumsfeld, but bland over all he didn't dominate as in the last debate. More goosey than loosey (that is to say, he was spirited, but a little stiff). Because of poor acoustics, he requested that several questions be repeated, drawing unwelcome and unfair attention to the age issue. Proud, impatient, and looking forward to January.
By Mark Halperin
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