Hillary says it's not enough to "denounce" expressions of support from anti-Semitic figures like Farrakhan, one must also "reject" them, as she did with New York's Independence Party in 2000. Obama has some gentle fun with the semantic difference:

"If the word 'reject' Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word 'denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point and I would reject and denounce."

The winning moment is another microcosm of his success. Unlike in earlier debates, Obama is quick on his feet and good humored. He also conveys a certain bemused remove from the bizarre conventions of traditional insider politics, which is exactly why people love him.

I must say that, overall, Hillary strikes me as someone who has lost her confidence. Every time she rolls out a one-liner, as with her SNL crack, it feels half-hearted and dead on arrival.

Update: Thanks to valued reader SL for noting that I'd originally transposed "denounce" and "reject" in my first sentence.

--Michael Crowley