Opinion Brief

Harry Reid and Sharron Angle's 'feisty' debate

The Democratic leader and his Tea Party-friendly GOP rival exchanged barbs in their only election debate. Did either land a knock-out blow?

In one of the most widely anticipated debates of the midterm campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican rival Sharron Angle clashed in a "feisty" exchange that included personal attacks from both sides. Reid called Angle "extreme" several times, and accused her of distorting his record. Angle tried to convince voters Reid is a calculating Washington insider more interested in wasteful pork-barrel spending than making tough decisions on issues — at one point telling Reid to "man up" and address the Social Security crisis. With the candidates close in the polls, political experts say this is a "rare" case where the debate could decide the race. So who won, Reid or Angle? (Watch an AP report about the debate)

Angle was the clear winner: Harry Reid may have just "talked himself out of a job," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. As veteran Nevada political analyst Joe Ralston said, all Angle really had to do was show she wasn't the "lunatic" Reid says she is, and that was easy. But Reid really made her look good by comparison with his "terrible" performance — he was condescending and utterly unable to answer Angle's attacks painting him as a tax-raising, career politician. "Ralston: Angle won the debate"

Reid looked better to anyone concerned with results: Sharron Angle apparently believes "it's not your job of your senator to fight for you," says Brent Budowsky at The Hill. As Reid talked about everything he has accomplished — from bringing the state tens of thousands of jobs to protecting homeowners from foreclosure abuses — Angle sneered that it's not a senator's job to do things for the folks back home. "This is incredible." If Nevadans were paying attention, they know which candidate they can depend on when they are "hurting.""Sharron Angle to Nevadans: Tough luck"

No knockouts — but voters got what they needed to make a decision: Anyone hoping to see a decisive blow struck must have been "disappointed," says JoAnne Allen at Reuters. At the end of their "first and only debate," both candidates were "still standing." But they gave starkly contrasting views on health-care reform to immigration to Social Security, and how to use government programs to create jobs. Voters can't say they don't have a clear choice."When Harry Reid met Sharron Angle"

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