Now that the much-hyped Biden-Palin debate is over, the second of three debates (this one in Nashville) between John McCain and Barack Obama is about in 48 hours.
Intended to focus on domestic policy, the debate will be in a Town Hall format – a setting which McCain generally does well in, and Obama (with his oft-professorial tone) not so much. However, despite McCain lagging in the polls, the pressure will be on Obama to follow-up on his capable performance at the first presidential debate in Oxford, MS.
For one, less McCain regain lost ground in the polls, Obama must demonstrate his showing at Ole Miss was no fluke; secondly, he’s got to keep McCain on the defensive (i.e. the economy), and; finally, although Nashville is not the last debate, Obama would be well-advised to treat it as such, as if he puts McCain solidly into a corner this Tuesday, it will be even harder for him to recover by November 4th.
In other words, if Obama and his staff thought the first debate was high stakes, the next one should be even more so. And if he fails to capitalize, McCain and Caribou Barbie will be breathing down his neck again.