On Wednesday evening, former Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will engage in the first of three presidential debates. As Romney's campaign appears to be in a slump, this debate could prove decisive for Obama, or conversely give Romney a much-needed boost late in the campaign.
The debate will cover domestic politics, and will be moderated by Jim Lehrer, the host of NewsHour on PBS. The first half of the 90-minute debate will be dedicated solely to the economy, by far the most important issue this campaign. The second half will be split equally between health care, the role of government and governing.
Leading up to the debates, both campaigns have attempted to lower expectations for their respective candidates. Romney’s team has mentioned that Obama has far more experience in presidential debates and is a superior public speaker in general, while the Obama campaign has expressed concern that the commander in chief has not had sufficient time to prepare.
After months of sparring behind the protection of TV commercials, billboards, and speeches in front of supporters, this will be the first time each candidate is put face-to-face with his opponent. Expect Romney to continue to bash Obama’s health care act and big government practices, while Obama will likely attempt to paint Romney as an out of touch plutocrat who will only benefit the rich.
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