Many of the first stories on the Internet declared Clinton the clear "winner," who "did what she had to do." Subsequent stories Wednesday were even more laudatory.
There's a certain inevitability to this--the "story" had to eventually change from Hillary falls to Hillary resurrected. But the political impact seems more substantial, especially since the debate brought in an estimated 15 million viewers, far surpassing predictions and previous Dem debate audiences.
I wasn't one of the viewers, of anything really but I was more involved in urging the Mets to defeat the Dodgers (not that I like the Mets that much; I dislike the Dodgers that much) which, by the way, they didn't do. But I watched clips and read excerpts, and what was important to me was that Clinton understands how to tap into the powerful advantage she has. She reminded everyone she is a woman. She made it clear that she will continue policies and direction of the Obama presidency, which besides reassuring me, is good politics. That's where the Democratic Party is.
Wednesday she did what winning politicians do--she capitalized on her gains. Her first big rally was a solidarity march with Latino voters but more broadly, she spoke to the party's traditional support of immigrants. She got a union endorsement and gushed over it.
Frank Rich rightly remarks that her fortunes started to turn when the House no-longer-to-be-Speaker McCarthy bragged that the GOPer generated Benghazi investigations had driven her poll numbers down. (A second GOPer House Rep admitted the partisan nature of the committee today.) And of course, the Bernie Sanders moment ("The American people are tired of hearing about your damn e-mails") was another gift that will keep on giving.
So for Dems the headline on Jonathan Chiat's commentary says it: the panic over Hillary is over (Rebecca Traister took a similar approach, with her own ebullient prose.) (And I realize I've just linked to four columns on the New York Magazine site--I did read stories from at least 6 other sources, but these cover the ground.)
Hillary's got all kinds of room now to be the inclusive, the compassionate as well as the realistic candidate, thanks to these months of GOPer competition to be more outrageously vicious and reactionary, and stupid. All she has to do now is not look insane.
Postscript: Then Thursday morning the Media woke up and thunk, hey, if Hillary won so decisively then there's nothing to watch for the next half year. So today's story is: Bernie introduced himself to the American public! They both won! We've still got a race here folks you betcha--stay tuned!