PBS moderators resisted a strong urge to ask fundraising tips from Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton tonight.

It looked like a battle of right-brain versus left-brain. Who won the debate? Depends what you value most in a leader. A bold vision, or getting things done?

Looking sharp and alert and, some might say, "presidential," Hillary Clinton brought her A-game to the table, wielding her intellect like a machete to hack away at Sanders' vaguer campaign promises.

Especially on the issue of foreign policy, Clinton showed off her expertise by getting down into micro-details, mentioning names like war-torn IS stronghold Raqqa in Syria. She was the kind of candidate who appealed to voters who want realism, specifics, concrete facts. Clinton reinforced her main selling point, which is that she's already got experience at the top levels of power and would be ready from day one as leader. She looked like the embodiment of the left brain: precise, analytical, logical.

That said, there weren't a lot of rousing or memorable moments from her debate performance.

"I don't make any promises I might not be able to keep!" isn't exactly the stuff of motivational posters.

But Clinton clearly had a lot of supporters in the room—the crowd cheered loudest for her.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, looked more like the right brain of politics: emotional, visionary and unorthodox. Looking exhausted by a lingering cold (his voice was raspy throughout) and mildly cranky, he looked like he needed more sleep after New Hampshire's decisive victory. Sanders was shakier than Clinton on specifics at times, especially when pressed for how big government should be, or on foreign policy (he did get very specific in regard to certain historical figures like Mohammed Mossadegh and Henry Kissinger — more on that later).

But when the initial the haze of his cold medication (or general fatigue) appeared to wear off, Sanders busted out his attacks. His zingers read like political slam poetry, and there were dramatic moments that looked straight out of an Aaron Sorkin TV series.

While Hillary Clinton appealed to female voters by talking generally about her record in fighting for women's rights, Sanders treaded where some have refused to go, for fear of provoking the wrath of religious voters.

"I'll tell you something that really galls me. It will not surprise anybody to suggest that in politics, there is occasionally a little hypocrisy—just a little bit," Sanders said, lowering his voice as the audience hushed to catch his words.

"All over this country, we have Republican candidates for President, saying, 'We hate the government! The government is the enemy!' But when it comes to women having to make a very personal choice — ah. In that case, my Republican colleagues love the government and want the government to make that choice for every woman in America. If that's not hypocrisy, I don't know what hypocrisy is."

It's important to note that Clinton has been equally pro-choice in her platform as well, and has recently had to fend off strange attacks from Republican candidate Marco Rubio over women's reproductive rights.

But up to now, abortion hasn't been a major topic of debate among the candidates because of how explosively divisive the issue can be—only last November, three people were killed and nine injured by an anti-abortion terror attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.

Asked about where governments should cut back, Sanders swiftly suggested cutting back America's military spending — which, at 598 billion, dwarfs the budget of other countries.

"Why does Wall Street make huge contributions? I guess, for the fun of it."

Sanders' strength wasn't so much in the details of his plans, or how he was going to finance them, but in the emotion with which he goes after the status quo.

At one point, Hillary Clinton challenged the idea that a candidate was compromised by donors, arguing:

"[Obama] was the recipient of the largest number of Wall Street donations than anybody running on the Democratic side—ever. Now, when it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street. He pushed through and passed the Dodd-Frank regulations, the toughest regulations since the 1930s."

After cheers ripped through the auditorium,Sanders countered:

"Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people. Why in God's name does Wall Street make huge contributions? I guess, just for the fun of it.

"Why does the pharmaceutical industry make huge campaign contributions? Any connection maybe to the fact that our people pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?

"Why does the fossil fuel industry spend huge amounts of money on campaign contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and that we have got to transform our energy system?"

The elephant in the room was Obama's spectacular Wall Street bailout. No connection to that Super PAC, right?

Blast from the past: the return of Henry Kissinger

At times, however, Sanders' performance felt undermined by repetitive, vague statements about "togetherness," and goals that sounded much better in a speech than on a to-do-by-2020 list.

Even though a whopping 33 million in America still don't have health insurance, Clinton did make a compelling case that thanks to the Obama administration, "90 per cent of Americans" now have health care coverage, and that rather than start over from scratch, she felt it was a more realistic option to close in on the remaining 10 per cent.

“We are not England, we are not France, we inherited a system that was set up in World War II," Clinton said, to Sanders' angry criticism that America's health care is far costlier and more inefficient than systems in France, the UK and Canada.

She urged Sanders to "level with people" about the full cost of his programs, saying that analysis by "people who are sympathetic to [his] goal" show that the numbers don't add up.

On the issue of foreign policy, Clinton breezed through with examples of her recent accomplishments, such as giving Obama the advice to go after Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. She derided Sanders for repeatedly bringing up his vote against the Iraq war as evidence of his foreign policy, saying a vote in 2002 is no plan to defeat ISIS in 2016.

But then Sanders dug even deeper into the past, bringing up names like Mossadegh...and Kissinger. After praising Hillary Clinton's recent book as a 'great book,' he went on to slam her for bragging about being mentored by Henry Kissinger (who was in his prime when most of his youth voters weren't yet a thought in their parents' minds).

"I'm proud to say Henry Kissinger is not my friend," Sanders said of the controversial former Secretary of State (now 92), who some call a 'war criminal' for his role in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Clinton seemed uncomfortable and eager to move on, but when Sanders went on a third time, she shot him a glare that seemed to say: "Are you seriously still talking about Kissinger? Stop. Just stop."

Her annoyance echoed that of Stringer Bell in The Wire, after Slim Charles repeats the name of infamous Senator Clay Davis.

Screenshots from The Wire

But the heart of debate wasn't really about either Clinton or Sanders — but about the crowd listening to it at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The debate was about the future of America and who was going to have to shoulder it.

One of the most memorable speakers in the debate at was a young African American student, who spoke to the crowd, voice trembling, looking on the verge of tears as he spoke about getting a full scholarship, and still ending up $12,000 in debt after completing his degree — even while working to help pay living costs.

Then there was the youth choir that belted out what sounded like the most unhappy version of Pharrell's "Happy" ever recorded. While the backup singers danced their best, the unsmiling lead singer looked too worried by America's financial issues to fully dive into her performance.

As the demographic with much at stake in the upcoming election, youth voters may continue to play a pivotal role in the fight over the Democratic Party's leadership.