Cleverly shifted away from being spry and dramatic as an underdog to being serious, calm, and leader-like as a frontrunner. Raised his game and took a bit of a chance by emphasizing the importance of bipartisanship and outreach for the next president. Likely breathed a sigh of relief when the moderator announced at the outset that Iraq and immigration would not be major topics. Despite all the pre-debate build-up, biggest challenge (from Tom Tancredo) was about arts education! Above all, demonstrated why he is stylistically a fantastic fit for what Iowans like in their leaders, and kept his momentum on track.
By Mark Halperin
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