Bush will state that:
- "The World is Safer without Sadam Hussein"
- "The hope of democracy is better than the rule of and an evil-doer"
- "How can you tell what my opponent will do, he's had so many different positions on this he could pratically debate himself"
Kerry will state that:
- "I've had only one position on this subject Mr President. I wanted Sadam Hussein gone and I'm glad he's gone - but we entered this war in the wrong way"
- "We need to utilize our allies more effectively, to help cut the spiralling costs of the war, help ensure the legitimacy of the new Iraqi government and effectively fight the insurgency in order to bring security and a true democracy to the region"
- "How can you continue to trust this President, when he's been wrong so many times so far and has lead us down the wrong path time and time again?"
And this will all probably happen in the first five minutes.
The real quesion is what happens after that? Most pundits agree that Kerry needs to land a devestating knock-out punch in order to bring himself out of the poll slump he's been in since the Republican Convention. He needs to answer and frankly bury the character question, if possible he needs to the throw the President off message by clearly and concisely pointing out the absurdities of that message.
Somehow, even without WMD's, Nuclear Weapons or actual ties to al Qaeda - Sadam Hussein became the most dangerous man in the world, and needed to be removed from power - not at some later date using deplomacy and negotiation as other despots such as Pinoche or Marcos were removed, but right now using force - even more urgently than Osama Bin Laden needed to be caught and his terrorist network dismantled?
That seems a tough sell to me, but that is exactly what this President has been successfully selling to the American public.
Kerry on the other hand has the problem of having a career almost entirely as a legislator, not an administrator. Other than his Vietnam experience, exactly how he would lead this nation as the chief executive, as opposed to how he might vote or argue within a body of equally powerful fellow lawmakers remains a serious question. Is he all talk and no action?
They say that a strong showing in a debate can "reset the clock" on a campaign erasing all past mis-steps and illuminating either a bright new path or a bleak and dreary trail for the future of the candidate.
Will this happen for either President Bush or Candidate Kerry?
We'll all find out tonight.
Let the games begin!!