Try watching the debates not in your usual mode — cursing and throwing things at the candidate you think is a moron — but in the mindset of the appliance-buying voter we kicked it off with back at the start of the year. Pundits and partisans, by this time, will have been listening to these candidates for two years; they will know the ins and outs of every issue and accusation. Their impressions are not the important ones. Most commentators felt that George W. Bush performed poorly in the 2004 debates, but many undecided voters felt differently. His bizarre “Need wood?” response to one of Kerry’s accusations (involving a paper-mill company Bush partly owned) seemed pathetic to the cognoscenti, but played well among many unversed in political minutiae.
And finally, the excruciatingly long race will wind down, in a final sprint of desperate claims and false promises. But don’t worry, when this contest ends in November, the next season of The Amazing Race for White House Survival will begin almost immediately.
KEY DATES Presidential debates scheduled for September 26, October 7, and October 15; vice-presidential debate scheduled for October 2; Election Day, November 4
PREDICTION Clinton wins easily
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: Talking Politics
, Michael Dukakis, Mitt Romney, Joseph Biden, More