Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 28.
Jeb Bush didn't have to worry about being slammed as a "low-energy" candidate. And Ted Cruz didn't risk barbs about his birth in Canada.
The Republican party's professional politicians had the stage mostly to themselves at Thursday night's debate, with the exception of neurosurgeon and commentator Dr. Ben Carson.
Donald Trump, the leading contender for the GOP nomination -- and the one commanding the biggest media spotlight -- wasn't there.
He did, however, avail himself of a CNN interview just before the event started to assure his followers that he had, in fact, won all the debates in which he participated.
His rivals, meanwhile, lost no time having some fun at the billionaire's expense, clearly relishing the fact that he wasn't there to defend himself.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas opened with a parody of Trump, tossing one-word barbs at each of the people on stage - starting with himself. "I'm crazy," he said.
His Senate colleague, Marco Rubio of Florida, followed up with a homily on the difference between personal insults and legitimate debate. Bush, the former Florida governor, waxed sarcastic.
"He was a teddy bear to me," Bush said. "We always had such a loving relationship."
But aside from slamming Trump, did any of the seven people on stage distinguish themselves? Tell us what you think in the poll below.