The first debate between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney is Wednesday night.
According to the plans for this first debate, at the University of Denver in Denver, CO, the focus will be on domestic policy. It is the first of three debates between Romney and Obama, all scheduled in October.
A fourth debate, set for Oct. 11, will pit Vice President Joe Biden against Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan. It's going to be at Centre College in Danville, KY, with a focus on both domestic and foreign policy.
But back to Wednesday.
Romney has been through a veritable gauntlet of debates in the year-long-plus run-up to the GOP convention, seemingly one after another, with as many as nine challengers on stage making their case for why they should be president.
Those, of course, were all against candidates seeking the Republican nomination. This is the first time Romney and Obama go mano-a-mano, presenting their conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democratic vision for leading the United States going forward.
The Daily Beast compiled a list of the top seven debate gaffes at the presidential and vice presidential level following Rick Perry's "ooops" moment in one of the early GOP debates — a mistake that helped unravel his own campaign.
The Daily Beast's list included President Ford's assertion in 1976 that there is no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe; Adm. James Stockdale's overly honest statement in 1992 of "Who am I, why am I here? I’m not a politician, everybody knows that," and Gov. Michael Dukakis' stoic, emotionless response in 1988 to a question about his stance against the death penalty, even if his own wife were brutally murdered.
Will it be a gaffe or a quotable moment that changes the debate? Or will you be looking for something else to determine the winner? What will Obama have to do to win this debate? How about Romney? And will you be watching?
If you're going to watch, please consider joining us for a Patch debate viewing party at two locations in the St. Louis area: Wehrenberg's Des Peres 14 Cine or St. Charles 18 Cine theaters, where you can share your views on how the candidates' remarks addressed the issues you care about. Get more details here.