As usual, we’ll shut down comments and do a live blog instead tonight. You know the drill, and it starts at 8:30 Eastern.
As for the debate itself, I have no fucking clue what will happen. Matt Taibbi had the best take on Romney’s current strategy last week, which is essentially that he’s now in the realm of the pure bullshit artist, saying anything that he thinks will get him elected. I expect him to trot out a new list of falsehoods that are jaw-dropping to anyone who knows anything about foreign policy, but sound plausible to low-information voters. After the first debate, Obama is probably ready for some shape shifting, but don’t expect a Candy Crowley-style instant fact check from genial old man Bob Schieffer, who is CBS’ version of Jim Lehrer. Obama’s best move will be to try to put Mitt off balance by attacking early and often.
Unfortunately for Romney, unless there’s some stylistic victory, on substance he’s got a real problem with foreign policy. Obama has some genuine successes he can point to. Romney’s stupidity has turned Benghazi into a minefield. On the rest of it, it’s hard for him to get to the right of the Obama Administration, for better or worse. And, I’m sorry to say, voters in a bad economy don’t give a shit about foreign policy.