Garance Franke-Ruta has an interesting post up about the advantage the Clinton campaign enjoys from having a relatively large number of women in senior positions:
It’s not that male strategists can’t understand how to reach out to female voters--historically they’ve been the only folks to do just that, and Clinton herself has plenty of senior male advisers, such as Mark Penn and her husband--but that this election is different. The competition for the female vote is more competitive than it has ever before been. This means that an extra level of sophistication will be required on the part of Democrats looking to compete against Clinton...
I think that's mostly right. Though, if it is, it's somewhat mystifying that the Clinton campaign couldn't decide whether to play the victim card or the strength card in the aftermath of Tuesday's debate. On the other hand, the confusion probably arises because women themselves are divided on this issue.
Commenter mmathog makes an interesting point that's vaguely related: In retrospect, Obama's strategy of announcing his offensive against Hillary in The New York Times a few days before the debate may have been inspired. It may have goaded Brian Williams, Tim Russert, and to some extent John Edwards into doing his dirty work, thus sparing Obama some of the blowback he'd have suffered had he been more aggressive.
I still think Edwards helped himself more than Obama did last Tuesday night, but there could be something to this.