Anyway, like I said, I watched and I intend to re-watch the debate online before making any in-depth comments, but here's my general impression of the candidates.
1. Biden, and to a somewhat lesser extent Richardson, stole the show from the frontrunners when it came to foreign policy issues. It helps that they actually know their shit and aren't trying to sell what they think voters want to hear. Whichever one of these two knocks Edwards out of 3rd place in Iowa or New Hampshire will probably get the VP nod. If it's Biden, Richardson will probably jump into New Mexico's Senate race or get himself another Cabinet position (he was Energy Secretary under Bill Clinton).
2. Edwards smiles when he's being mean. It's disconcerting. He also qualified every attack on Hillary with a quick "this isn't personal" which really served to make the attacks seem more personal. He should have stuck to the bare facts about her record because they speak for themselves. And every response he made that wasn't directed at Hillary went right back to his Two Americas class warfare theme. Which isn't to say he's wrong on the economic impact of a lot of these issues on the Middle Class, but it does get old after a while.
3. Kucinich got shafted during a couple questions. Blitzer (the moderator) skipped him, ignored him, and cut him off more than any other candidate on the stage. I don't support Kucinich, but he has a lot of good things to say on important topics like immigration. His best line of the night was "There are no illegal immigrants because there are no illegal people. Let's get this right. They are undocumented." Brilliant! Too many politicians (and everyone else, too) forget that the illegal immigrants are people. Kucinich gets the humanity of the situation without ignoring the problems it presents.
4. Obama was tough and very direct without being mean when he disagreed with the other candidates. He did a good job of setting himself up as the best possible non-Clinton Democrat which is ok, but if he wants to win he needs to explain why he's the best Democrat, period. I like that he's smart and compassionate and willing to work with anyone on a good solution to any problem. He needs to accept his flaws, though, and own them so that the others can't attack him for being imperfect.
5. Chris Dodd was very much himself - impassioned, clear, and completely unelectable because he's too awesome to be President. He'll be the Senator from Connecticut until the day he dies and the country will be better for it. Here's a guy who's actually a little older than the Boomers on the stage, but with an open mind and a liberal heart. He's Gravel without the anger and sarcasm. I do miss Gravel, though. He always added a good punch to the debates.