A sampling of reaction to the debate tonight:
The Atlantic: Huckabee was by far the most effective in responding to the question of how to go up against Obama. And he was also smart to be generous. The rest reverted to the ancient right-left playbook. I don't think that works so well against Obama.
CBN News: Huckabee also needed to show the country that, beyond his folksy charm, he has the bonafides on national security and foreign policy. In this debate, you could see him really making a serious effort to talk tough and he even threw in some bonus extra credit on radical Islam history by naming the year of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian radical who was executed in 1966. Huckabee's answer on the differences between himself and Barack Obama was classic. He highlighted the many differences but then gave Obama credit for the new discourse in dialogue (something The Brody File has been talking about forever) and then transitioned into how he's trying to do the same thing. It was a night here in New Hampshire where Mike Huckabee showed he's definitely Presidential material.
The Atlantic: Huckabee is easily the most coherent and intelligible Republican. McCain seems very tired, which is understandable. I like the quietness of the format. When Romney stops pandering and starts explaining policy, he's much better. He's obviously a capable guy. He was a decent governor. But the ability to mortgage every part of his soul and past to the exigencies of the present really undermines him. I think of the Romney campaign that might have been. But in the end, character counts, I guess.
Weekly Standard: Huckabee also had a good night. He has a knack for explaining things in language that causes me to imagine hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country nodding their heads. He spoke of the "health care maze, and anyone who has tried to get approval from an insurance company nodded his head. After Mitt Romney spoke hypothetically about a $1000 charge for a hospital visit, Huckabee brought it home. "You said about a thousand dollars for a repair," he said, in comments directed to Romney. "It's about a thousand dollars for a Kleenex in a hospital now."