The Big Three:
McCain showed up without his good humor, and the finger-stabbing was awkward. I'm inclined to like McCain most when he's both tough and good-humored. Tonight, he was tough, but no fun at all.
Giuliani showed up without most of his storied charm. That's the thing that gets a lot of conservatives past the policy differences. If he doesn't have it, that walking the line on Roe v. Wade becomes much more obvious.
He still doesn't do it for me, but I'd say Romney probably came out on top. McCain and Giuliani didn't noticeably mess up, but their likeable, distinguishing characteristics got lost in the shuffle tonight. Romney doesn't have that "it" factor that McCain and Rudy usually have, but he didn't disappoint anyone by showing up without it.
Of the others, I liked Duncan Hunter and Huckabee best. Huckabee is surprisingly charming and a colorful speaker.
Hunter had my favorite line of the night, and came across as presidential. When asked to name one thing the government does well, he said, "Those precision-guided munitions on Zarqawi's safehouse. That was done very well."
That was my favorite line of the night.
Video of Katie and me discussing the debate as soon as I'm done cutting it up.