A Guide to Tonight’s Debate

If you want to exult (or commiserate) with fellow conservatives during the debate tonight, tune in to Power Line Live. I notice that some early birds are already starting to congregate; I will be there later on. If you want to keep up with what the Romney campaign is putting out, you can follow the campaign’s rapid response Twitter page. For longer responses from the campaign, go here. This is the Romney campaign’s news feed–not quite sure what the difference is there–and video and graphics will be posted here. It should be an interesting evening.

UPDATE: The Heritage Foundation will live-streaming the debate here, along with other debate-related material. And Heritage will be tweeting commentary throughout the debate.

FINALLY, a few pre-debate thoughts of my own:

1) Romney will do well; Obama will do OK. The press will spin madly but mostly ineffectually. That result, a “draw” as called by the press, will help Romney, along the lines of the 1980 model. Large numbers of viewers who know Obama has been a failure and a disappointment will see Romney as a viable alternative.

2) One time, maybe twice, Romney needs to push back against Lehrer’s question. He has to do it carefully, since Lehrer is an elderly gentleman. But Romney needs to say something like, “The premise of your question is incorrect.” Or, “that question builds in a left-wing assumption.” And then give the answer, his way.

3) If you want to change someone’s mind, you have to tell him something he didn’t already know. What can Romney tell viewers that they don’t already know, that could affect their vote? Here are several possibilities: a) His tax plan does not increase taxes on middle-income Americans. Here, he needs to call Obama out. I would like to hear him say, “Mr. Obama, I want you to stop lying about my plan. What you just said wasn’t true, and you know it.” b) Romney’s taxes will probably come up. If so, he should say something along the lines of, “I checked my returns and found that over the last 30 years, I have paid $120 million (or whatever it is) in federal taxes. I would have paid even more, except that I also gave away $150 million (or whatever) to charities.” That would kill a couple of birds with one stone. c) The Democratic Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than three years. During the years when the Obama administration has racked up $5 trillion in new debt, not a single member of the House or the Senate, Democrat or Republican, has voted for Obama’s budgets because they are so irresponsible.

Now it’s time to pop a beer and head over to Power Line Live.

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