Besides the headlines of Hillary Clinton's chief rivals, John Edwards and Barack Obama, questioning her policy stands and waffling on issues, here are a few more things to watch in the days ahead after Tuesday night's Democratic debate:
- Is it the beginning of the end for Dennis Kucinich? The Ohio congressman acknowledged that, yes, he has seen a UFO, then joked about opening a campaign office in Roswell, N.M., where UFO believers one crashed and the government covered it up. Kucinich also twice called for impeachment hearings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney -- a step that might appeal to the antiwar left, but that is not part of the mainstream conversation. The other Democrats stayed as far away from both issues as they could.
- Will Bill Richardson benefit from being the nice guy? The New Mexico governor leapt to Clinton's defense, warning that some of the attacks were getting personal and urging Democrats to aim their fire at Republicans. At the last Republican debate, Mike Huckabee issued the same call. The genial former Arkansas governor has surged in Iowa since.
- Can Joe Biden or Chris Dodd get a bounce? They both have long, distinguished careers in the US Senate, and both argued at length during the debate that they had the best experience to lead the country through the foreign policy and domestic challenges ahead. Neither, however, has been able to rise into the top three of Clinton, Edwards, or Obama, and time is running out.