The first presidential debate: The defining moment. The separating of a sheep from a goat...a man from a Superman....a professor/business professional from a president.
For Republicans, it is the hoped for reenactment of October 28, 1980, when Ronald Reagan snatched victory from the pollsters, who had incumbent Jimmy Carter cruising to re-election.
It's the day Mitt Romney hopes the big, leaky ship that is his transportation to the White House will right itself and head full steam ahead.
And here's how he plans to do that:
Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.
Really? I am so embarrassed for the GOP. The party's language has been course, its strategy has been weak, the in-fighting all too entertaining. If Mitt Romney CAN pull this campaign out of the circular path around the drain - well, maybe he can also work some kind of unknowable magic from the oval office.
He is on his own tonight. Thank God.
I am so weary of the machine that works the hands and mouths from the backs of Republican candidates, I could cry. Perhaps Mitt Romney will come to the stage tonight with a resolve to be Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. It would serve him well. He will be nose to nose with the President of the United States...a man who stands before the people packaged in a four year record with a focused resolve to move forward, not as someone dressed in the pokings and proddings of small thinkers with big checkbooks.
Honestly, Mr. Romney has to be hoping for an Obama fumble. Which, of course, only works in his favor if he's quick enough to recover the ball and dart in the direction of the end zone.
Sadly, for the GOP candidate, the folks standing along the sidelines cheering him on seem to point every direction but the right one. For all they know, the way to score is to run the ball to the concession stand.
I can hardly wait to see what happens.
Meanwhile, I'm off to find some Hostess treats to offer up tonight over debate watching.