It was the most different, and the most creative, of all the debates so far – and, clearly, the best.

I admit, I was skeptical ahead of time. Afraid YouTube videos would appear too disjointed, too unfocused, too off the wall. I was wrong.

Coming from average citizens, the questions were more blunt, more direct, and covered more territory than we’ve seen so far. And, as voiced by average voters across America, they were also more real.

It was moving to see a woman recovering from breast cancer remove her wig and start talking about healthcare. It was powerful to see a man in front of flags that covered the coffins of his father and grandfather say he didn’t want his youngest son to come up in a flag-draped coffin from Iraq. It was funny, but effective, to have a snowman ask what the candidates would do about global warming. 

Yes, the questions were great. But so were the candidates. On points, I’d give Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMillennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet Can Biden encompass the opposition he embodied? MORE the trophy. But Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama'Nationalize' Facebook and Twitter as public goods Millennials and the great reckoning on race Biden's chief aide says president wants teams, no rivals MORE had a great night. So’d John Edwards. And Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE, on passion alone, proved he deserves to be in the top tier.

After Monday night’s debate, every one of the Democrats, except for crazy Mike Gravel, should walk away feeling like a winner. Best of all, in November 2008, one of them will be.