I wonder what the audience will be for the debate in St. Louis, since it will be on a Friday night going into a holiday weekend. Smaller? Older? Poorer?
Both candidates have serious challenges for this debate. Bush needs to erase memories of his Crack-Up in Coral Gables. And while Kerry has gained significant ground over the past few days (and, just as important, has gotten much better media coverage), most polls still show him behind Bush by 2-3 points.
The town meeting won't play to either candidate's strength. Bush clearly hates unscripted questions from a skeptical audience. And Kerry certainly doesn't exude the personal warmth needed in such a setting. (His campaign should have him hang with Del Sandusky for the day. Something about his war buddies makes him act almost human). Most audience members will probably ask about kitchen-table domestic issues, which isn't Bush's strong suit, nor is it what Kerry most likes to discuss.
ABC just brought on Jack Kemp as a debate analyst! For those of us who remember his 1996 implosion against Al Gore ... well it's like bringing Bill Buckner on to do color commentary during the World Series.