Performed much better than last time, but has lost her luster and ability to consistently rise above her rivals in part because she course-changed by going a bit ugly and a bit low. She deliberately risked appearing shrill, political and shameless in order to put her opponents in their place and the chattering class may applaud her steely toughness. For the first time in a debate, she initiated off-topic attacks, forcefully challenging Obama on his health care plan and Edwards for going negative; she knocked both off balance, raising the question of whether they can take a general election punch. Was equivocal on trade issues and Social Security, but not in a sound bite-able way that might come back to haunt her. She may not have her game back, but she's slowed and maybe stopped the two-week-old "she's slipping" storyline.
By Mark Halperin
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