Personally, I thought Cheney won, clearly and decisively. I have always believed that Cheney would make the better president — if getting elected weren’t a prerequisite. Cheney demonstrated that he’s classier, smarter, more in command of details, less pandering and over all infinitely more qualified to hold public office than John Edwards (or John Kerry or George Bush) is. I’ve always been embarassed for liberals who tout Edwards’ substance when it’s obvious — to me at least — that they like his style.
That said, opinion is different than punditry — a point some readers and friends of NRO sometimes, I think, forget. I don’t think this was a homerun for Cheney in the sense that it will be of much political significance. Cheney won, but not so clearly or by such a wide margin to matter that much. Political junkies cared about this debate more than average Americans. And among non-political junkie average Americans who watched this thing all the way through, I suspect this will be something of a draw. Cheney won on foreign policy and Edwards won narrowly on domestic policy — politically. Substantively, I think Edwards lost on almost every point.