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What Will Determine Who Wins Wednesday's Obama-Romney Debate?

What will you be looking for to decide the difference in the first presidential debate between the nominees? And don't forget to join us for a Patch debate viewing party!

The first debate between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney is Wednesday night.

According to the plans for this first debate, at the University of Denver in Denver, CO, the focus will be on domestic policy. It is the first of three debates between Romney and Obama, all scheduled in October.

A fourth debate, set for Oct. 11, will pit Vice President Joe Biden against Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan. It's going to be at Centre College in Danville, KY, with a focus on both domestic and foreign policy.

But back to Wednesday.

Romney has been through a veritable gauntlet of debates in the year-long-plus run-up to the GOP convention, seemingly one after another, with as many as nine challengers on stage making their case for why they should be president.

Those, of course, were all against candidates seeking the Republican nomination. This is the first time Romney and Obama go mano-a-mano, presenting their conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democratic vision for leading the United States going forward.

The Daily Beast compiled a list of the top seven debate gaffes at the presidential and vice presidential level following Rick Perry's "ooops" moment in one of the early GOP debates — a mistake that helped unravel his own campaign.

The Daily Beast's list included President Ford's assertion in 1976 that there is no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe; Adm. James Stockdale's overly honest statement in 1992 of "Who am I, why am I here? I’m not a politician, everybody knows that," and Gov. Michael Dukakis' stoic, emotionless response in 1988 to a question about his stance against the death penalty, even if his own wife were brutally murdered.

Will it be a gaffe or a quotable moment that changes the debate? Or will you be looking for something else to determine the winner? What will Obama have to do to win this debate? How about Romney? And will you be watching?

If you're going to watch, please consider joining us for a Patch debate viewing party at two locations in the St. Louis area: Wehrenberg's Des Peres 14 Cine or St. Charles 18 Cine theaters, where you can share your views on how the candidates' remarks addressed the issues you care about. Get more details here.

Larry Lazar October 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
that's an excellent analysis Watts and I agree. Well done.
News Flash October 01, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Trolls like Watts should be rejected.
Watts October 01, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Thanks Larry, but let's give credit where credit is due. How about that brilliant contribution from News Fish? I am humbled by the brilliance of this person who has attained such great knowledge and rhetorical skills, all without ever having left his mother's basement.
Watts October 01, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Actually, if it is like most issues, Ryan and Romney are probably worlds apart on it and if Ryan had given details, then that would present an issue if Romney were to state completely different details during the debate. It is obvious that Romney and Ryan are like oil and water, so I think that we probably won't be hearing a lot of details from Ryan, even in the vice presidential debate. Romney has had to say it over and over again that he would be the president, as if to totally disregard Ryan's policy beliefs. So I think that now, Ryan has taken the hint to keep his mouth shut until after the election.
Sensible? I think so October 02, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I don't see how Mr. Maher didn't give Mr. Revere the right to his opinion. Are you familiar with these statements of Mr. Revere? Telling someone that they can't have an opinion in this state or country is NOT giving them the right to their opinion, if you ask me. "You should go live in another country and stop trying to ruin this country." "Why don't you go live in MASS-Chus." It would be more than a full time job to point out Mr. Revere's errors. (Definitely plural, not singular!) Google now shows some of them, just search for "wrong again, mr revere".

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