First, on foreign policy. Who will "lose" the most by not having a full, comprehensive debate devoted solely to foreign policy?
Is it McCain who'd probably like to put Obama in place for not supporting the surge that he later said was "wildly successful" or Obama, who might like to remind everyone he was against the war from the beginning?
And what about the Russia-Georgia conflict? And Iran? And the recent bombings in Pakistan? If we don't hear from the candidates on these important issues, will we have a chance later?
Now, onto the economy. How are the candidates going to talk about a bailout package that isn't done yet? Will McCain or Obama be forced to take a firm stance on the deal outside of their "underlying principles?"
Finally, the superficial stuff. Will McCain or Obama really be on their A-game after two days of tense negotiations on the Hill? I don't think Obama was as active as McCain was on this front, but neither of them got the last few days to focus solely on debate preparation. This will showcase their ability to think on the fly a bit.
We have a lot to observe tonight. My fingers will be tap-tap-tapping on my keyboard as we go!