Cooper has no singular accomplishment to compare with Kelly's questioning of Trump, but overall, he defined solid.
Moderating the Democrats has surely been a more manageable task than trying to wrangle the unruly herd of GOP candidates. But whereas Kelly had strong co-moderators in Bret Baier and Chris Wallace flanking her and sharing the load in that first debate in Cleveland in August, Cooper was front and center solo in October in Las Vegas with the Democrats.
He did have some backup from Dana Bash, Juan Carlos Lopez and Don Lemon, but the way they way they were used, they might as well not have been there.
As I wrote at the time, Anderson did almost everything CNN host Jake Tapper failed to do in the CNN debate he moderated. Cooper dealt briskly focused, well-researched questions at the candidates, and he commanded the stage, shutting down bickering, crosstalk and long-winded, talking-points-blah-blah-blah answers.
He scored big points for pressing them all with follow-ups - from frontrunner Hillary Clinton to the faltering Lincoln Chafee.