Alexis Simendinger writes at RCP:
Tuesday night’s first debate among five Democratic presidential candidates did not shake up the race for the nomination.
And in that sense, Hillary Clinton cleared a significant hurdle after months of weak poll numbers and public preoccupation with her email server. She went in as the field’s leader, and came out that way. Her next challenge comes Oct. 22, when the former secretary of state will spend a day testifying before a Republican-led House committee.
But perhaps Clinton’s biggest question, unanswered at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino, is what Vice President Joe Biden plans to do. If he decides to enter the race, Clinton’s practiced performance as the inevitable heir to President Obama could be upended.
But if Biden, who watched the debate at home in Washington, had wondered if the 2008 Democratic primary loser might stumble, she made every effort to beat back that notion.
Philip Rucker and John Wagner report at The Washington Post
Overall, Sanders’s performance was uneven. At the start, he seemed easily bothered. At times on the defensive, Sanders seemed agitated, shouting his positions as if he were rallying thousands of supporters in a sports arena instead of conversing with four opponents on a debate stage. But he appeared to become more relaxed on stage and to relish his place as the outsider on the left.
Lincoln Chafee declared himself to a be a mineral:
Time and time again, I have never changed. You’re looking at a block of granite when it comes to the issues. So I have not changed.