On Tuesday night, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will meet for their second presidential debate at 9pm eastern at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The debate will focus on domestic and foreign policy, and will be held in a town meeting-style format. The audience will consist of some 80 undecided registered voters from Nassau County, selected by the Gallup Organization. It will be moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, and it will be the first time since 1992 a woman has moderated a presidential debate. PolicyMic will be live-streaming the debate with complete live coverage. The debate will also air on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN, among other networks. To make things interesting, PolicyMic is back with its second version of our Presidential Debate Drinking Game.
This debate will be crucial for those voters who, incredibly, have not had their fill of pandering political bullshit at this point. The BS will be out in full force, as Obama and Romney will speak directly to undecided voters in-person. When the inevitable questions about jobs and struggling working class families arise, at least Obama will be able to draw on his personal history to relate. Romney, on the other hand, will be in the unenviable position of interacting with a rabble whose trials and travails he cannot possibly know. The former Massachusetts governor has spent his entire life in privileged company, which means that tonight presents Romney with a minefield he'll need to navigate through if he wants to come out unscathed. Expect a stumble or two from the Republican nominee.
There is almost no way Obama can do any worse in this debate than he did in the first one in Denver; unless of course he takes whatever Rick Perry took before that bizarre speech in New Hampshire. in that first debate, the president gave one of the most uninspired presidential debate performances in history, as his responses almost conveyed the sense that he didn't want to be there, or even be president for another four years. If there's one silver lining in that debate, it's that the bar has been set low, which makes it all the more easier for Obama to surmount the low expectations that he himself set.
Regardless of all that, it's going to be a very cynical spectacle tonight. Good luck finding details on Romney's tax plan, or just what exactly Obama's mission in Afghanistan is, for example. The answers to such queries may as well exist in an alternate universe, which is probably more accessible than the details of the candidates' policy prescriptions.