Great rundown on what to expect from the first debate by Cilliza at Wapo today.. things to look for is Obama playing it safe… and running out the clock… while Romney is NOT used to being attack dog… and might struggle with the format of 101….
It’s a tremendously rare moment in politics when everything and everyone stops for a single event. Wednesday night’s first general election debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is just such a moment. Think of it like the Super Bowl, but for politics; even if you don’t like the game all that much, you tune in because it’s a cultural happening. (And yes, we are aware that we just called a presidential debate a “cultural happening”.)
“Come Thursday morning, the entire narrative of this race is going to change,” predicted the always-understated New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) in an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
We’re not so sure we would go that far, but it is clear that Wednesday’s debate in Denver will have major implications for how the remaining five weeks of the campaign play out.
So, what should we expect out of Obama and Romney Wednesday night? Here are a few things to watch for:
* Obama and the four corners offense: Remember the days before there was a shot clock in college basketball? The team that led late in the second half just held onto the ball , milking the clock and draining any hope of a comeback from their opponents.
Go back and watch Obama’s debate performance in 2008 against Sen. John McCain and you will see a candidate who knows he’s ahead and just wants to make sure he holds onto the ball.
Try to remember a genuinely memorable moment from the three Obama-McCain debates. You’ll be hard-pressed to do it — and that’s a testament to Obama’s ability to execute his four corners strategy. He came across as serious and sober about the nation’s problems, but also left almost no opening for McCain to leap in to steal the ball from him.