Whatever else John McCain's stunt this week did, it has had the effect of lowering the bar for the debate. How could he possibly be prepared?!? Why, he only had this morning to prepare. Hogwash, of course, but that's clearly the subtext of this week.
Obama's folks are belatedly trying to play the expectations game, playing up in a memo past debate performances that were graded "lifeless, aloof, and windy." Don't buy that either. Obama's been rock solid through 20-odd Democratic debates. He's not the same guy he is delivering one of his trademark stemwinders, but he's an accomplished debater.
My big question is standing or sitting. Sitting, this thing will be pretty cordial. Standing and the fireworks might fly.