Given I’ll be stuck somewhere up in the proverbial arse of the Continental Divide during the debate tomorrow and consequently won’t be able to watch it, I’ll give my version of a preview for tomorrow’s Republican showdown. Take note that this will be inevitably more offensive than anything CNN or MSNBC will put out.
First, look for McCain to sound more energetic and passionate than his usual calm self. The McCain campaign has been bleeding support for a while now, and I personally think they need to drastically change things up soon or risk being severely overtaken by Romney. Since I don’t see McCain changing his Iraq stance (could you imagine the delicious flip-flop that would be?), I imagine they’ll go for slightly more subtle changes.
Second, I think immigration will be the big issue, regardless of what the moderators want to talk about. The recent “amnesty” bill will provide way too much discussion ground for the candidates to avoid. McCain has some damage control to do here, but this also means everyone’s favorite comedic relief, Tom Tancredo, will have some borderline racist comments to make.
I think everyone would like to see some clarification regarding past records on certain issues, especially from Mitt Romney. But there’s no way this will take place tomorrow. Nonetheless, tomorrow could be gang-up-on-Mitt-Romney night — his momentum in the polls has got to be worrying Giuliani and McCain, and he’s widening the gap between the frontrunners and the fringe candidates.
Last, it’s always good to remember that not a single response to a question tomorrow will really matter in the long run. Nobody will care what anyone has to say about anything when the primaries come around. It’s all about how they say it.