The AP helpfully provides what to watch for
1. A REBOUND? After taking a drubbing in the first debate, Obama’s under big pressure to step up his game Tuesday night. He’ll try to show energy and passion. And look for him to challenge Romney’s claims more often. Obama’s comfortable taking audience questions at campaign events, and that should work in his favor at this “town hall” style debate.
“Comfortable taking audience questions”? Well, partly, because he knows that the audience isn’t going to rebut him, and it allows him to pontificate. On the other hand, he’s still missing his telepromptor, and has a tendency to yammer on and never answer the question.
2. MAN OF THE PEOPLE? The town hall format holds risk and opportunity for Romney. (the AP positions this one as possibly being bad for Romney…..um, he’s been in this format and is well practiced at debating and taking questions.)
3. MORE CIVIL? Expect a less confrontational tone. (time will tell)
4. THE PEOPLE SPEAK: What will the voters ask? (what will he far left moderator allow them to ask, and what will she herself ask in order to help Obama?)
5. MORE THAN WORDS: They won’t be moored to a lectern or table, so this is the time to check out each man’s body language. (this isn’t about Romney, this is about Obama, considering his last debate optics. Will Obama be engaged and involved, or will he pretend to be a mannequin that has better things to do like last time?)
We know what Romney will do: he’ll be attentive, involved, engaging, and speak directly to people, including Obama. Will Obama be more forceful? Will he go for smear shots and try and fire his base up, like Biden did? Will his body language be better? Will he keep his head down or look down his nose, as he often does when speaking? Will he provide anything knew, or will it be standard talking points we’ve all heard time and again?
Politico also provides 5 things to watch for
- Cutting the deficit in half
- Closing Guantanamo
- Immigration reform
- Reining in home foreclosures
- Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Oh, wait, sorry, those are 5 unmet Obama promises. I’m sure we can add quite a few more to that list, like uniting the country, reigning in health insurance costs, setting a new post-partisan tone in Washington, and so many more.