Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 519
Right after the debate concluded, I headed over to the spin room, the place where the candidates and their staffs work to influence public perceptions immediately after the actual debate.
The first person I ran into, almost literally, was Mike Gravel, who I believe may have been muttering something about those damn kids being on his lawn again.
Next up was Joe Biden and his children, to whom he gave this advice: "Alright, now - remember the drill: your Pop was the best."
Still outside the spin room was John Edwards, doing a stand up for the cameras. Afterwards, he skipped the spin room in favor of a rally with supporters just outside the Drake campus.
Also giving the spin room a miss was Hillary Clinton, who instead addressed supporters at the Varsity Theatre across the street from campus.
Barack Obama also left the spin room behind in favor of meeting supporters over at Planet Sub a block from campus.
Back in the spin room, Howard Dean held court. I asked Governor Dean how he felt this debate compared to the August 5th GOP debate. He replied that he hadn't seen the GOP face-off, but expressed certainty that we're better than them (damn skippy, Doctor!).
Bill Richardson was on hand, too. I spoke to one of his press staff, who said this was the governor's best debate by far. I think that's true, but still fell far short of what Richardson needed to accomplish today.
Chris Dodd also did a healthy amount of spinning.
And last, but (thanks to Mike Gravel) not least, Dennis Kucinich. We politely avoided each other.