First off, there was been a good deal of interest surrounding this debate because of reports coming from both Presidential contenders' camps about how low expectations should be set for the debate. While being something of a talented orator, President Obama hasn't had to debate anyone for four years and many doubt his ability to react well to unscripted questions. On the other hand, while Romney has had more practice at debating thanks to the GOP primaries, his "style" (if you can even call it that), much like his personality leaves a bit to be desired.
Many have theorized that Romney's campaign is deliberating trying to lower expectations so that as long as Romney doesn't fair terribly, he will look like a winner (think of Sarah Palin's debate with Joe Biden, she didn't win but she survived which was victory enough). Personally, while I think there is some merit to this theory, I don't think it tells the whole story.
My theory is, Romney is planning on tonight being his big "coming out" moment, where for the first time he will try to put the President in his place and try to force him to answer some tough questions. By setting the tone for the debate a little low, it makes any punches he manages to land on the President look at that much better. If he had set the expectations for the debate high, and his attacks on the President were only sub-par or worse, it would make him look like a failure.
Which brings me to the rather unusual part of this post. I normally don't like making making predictions about elections or such but tonight I have moved to make one. In my humblest opinion, this debate will not likely go well for the President. Considering all the material Romney has to choose from and the current momentum of the race to date, I believe this is Romney's final chance to finally challenge the President and get out ahead for the first time in this race. At the same time, if he fails to grasp this chance, Romney's chances to win the highest office in the land will be diminished and I am not sure his campaign can survive such a failure of opportunity. The race will still be close even if Romney's fails tonight, but HOW close it will be could well be determined tonight, in just 15 minutes or so.
We'll find out soon enough if my theories about tonight are right..I'll check back later readers!
Any opinions and/or views expressed in the above piece are purely those of the author and not of any political or non-political organization. Any re-posting of this work MUST include this disclaimer.