Joe Sciacca’s column in this morning’s Boston Herald about Saturday night’s debate—if that’s the way the Democratic Party would like to describe the word game its nine candidates for the 2004 Presidential nomination played in South Carolina—was one of, if not the best, he has ever written in his years at the bustling independent daily tabloid. The two-column head, Democratic Pack Running On Empty, which some unidentified (as they always are) copyreader put on his piece, said it all:

“They weren’t on an aircraft carrier, but the nine Dedmocrats who want to take on George W. Bush were very much adrift on the open sea,” Sciacca began.

He concluded with “You missed the first debate? So did the candidates.” In between, he scalped Al Sharpton et alia in the 20-paragraph collectors’ piece Bush & Co. should love and reprint.