So it's official, though I'm still waiting for an official statement from the Nevada Democratic Party and maybe even Harry Reid.
The Big Winner: the Progressive movement, which came together at all levels -- netroots, grassroots, and even some institutional players.
The other Big Winner: John Edwards, whose early leadership dropping out of the debate spurred intense media coverage (hence pressure) and fueled its demise.
Snatched victory from the jaws of defeat: Richardson, who announced he was pulling out just an hour or so before the official demise of the debate. He would've been left isolated, the only candidate to agree to a now-dead debate. Spared by the hair on his chinny chin chin.
Mild loser: The other campaigns, especially Obama, who could've shown some leadership and hit back at the network that has been tormenting them with non-stop smear attacks. Instead, they played it safe.
The Big Loser: Fox News, which will now face a whole new round of stories discussing their "conservative bias" and propaganda function. For a network that wanted this debate to obscure their partisan purpose, this is the worst of all worlds.
Next up: Will the Congressional Black Caucus team up with Fox for its own debate?
Update: The Fox News cabal will open up about how "afraid" Democrats were to be part of this. Just remember, it was Fox News that was afraid to co-host this event with Air America. They didn't want to be paired off with a progressive operation because it would ruin the point of the debate for them -- to present themselves as an unbiased and credible news operation.
Had FNC agreed to share the stage with Air America, this debate would've likely survived.
Aside from that, expect some serious concern trolling from conservatives who, really, only wanted to give Democrats an opportunity to speak to their large audience! Because, you see, they're all about helping Democrats, right?
Update II: A big "thank you", btw, to Roger Ailes, who probably sealed the fate of his debate last night by trashing Obama as a terrorist, making a bad joke about Bill's infidelities to Hillary, and threatened Edwards for dropping out. This decision may not have been made today without Ailes showing his (and by extension, his network's) true colors.
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