Debate Debate

I left last night’s debate feeling no envy for reporters on daily deadlines, as it can be so hard to tease a clear storyline out of a generally mild, unfocused debate like that. Indeed, two competing ones seem to have emerged in this morning’s papers: Everybody’s picking on Freddy; and everybody’s picking on Mike.

In any event, the series of rapid-fire questions did manage to knock the candidates a bit off their talking points and generate some real contrast; they revealed, among other things, that Gifford has thought a bit more about the logistics of actually being Mayor — how do you get to City Hall? — than the others, and that Anthony is less haunted by the specter of Rudy.

In the spin-room after the debate, Ferrer supporter Bill Lynch offered a firm prediction that his candidate would break 40%, Democratic Party chairman Denny Farrell kindly complimented this reporter’s footwear, and word of Ferrer’s elision of his daughter’s Catholic High School — I suspect we haven’t heard the last of that — circulated subrosa.

Mostly, however, it was Sharpton time. The Rev., meandering in, quickly attracted the biggest crowd of reporters and after a second or two on his “they all won” talking point, revived his on-again-off-again, involvement in this race. (Though who really believed he wouldn’t be a player?)

Sharpton: I said I’m probably going to make an endorsement in the primary.
Reporter: Not again! We gotta go through this again?
Charles Barron: Yep. Here we go.