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McCain vs. Obama: Debate prep

You gotta love the Washington Times lead about Obama's debate prep. Biased much? "Obama will hunker down nearly all week to prepare for the most crucial 90 minutes of his political life - the first presidential debate - and has chosen a famous Washington lawyer who defended the would-be assassin of President Reagan to play Sen. John McCain in preparations."

More: "Obama will hole up in Tampa, Fla., where veteran lawyer Greg Craig will play the role of Mr. McCain in practice sessions. Mr. Craig was a member of President Clinton's defense team during Senate impeachment proceedings after the president lied about his sexual affair with a White House intern."

McCain is sparring with Maryland Republican Michael Steele for his debate prep, the Wall Street Journal reports. (Is Steele known for his debating skills?)  "Obama advisers, for example, are considering how to provoke Sen. McCain into anger or showing what they say is how out of touch, or old, he is. Advisers have told Sen. McCain to watch out when Sen. Obama uses the phrase, 'As I've said before...' One McCain adviser said it is used 'when Obama actually changes his position, to pretend it's what he's always said.'"
More: "Preparing Sen. Obama is Ron Klain, who assisted Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Al Gore in the debates during their failed presidential bids. Mr. Klain was played by Kevin Spacey in the movie 'Recount,' about the 2000 Florida vote debacle.

"The McCain campaign has hired Brett O'Donnell, the debate coach who led Jerry Falwell's Liberty University to several national debate championships. He has critiqued all of Sen. McCain's debates, as well as those of Sen. Obama. His advice to Sen. McCain: stand up. Mr. O'Donnell told the campaign that Sen. McCain had his worst debates when he was seated. 'Proximity can be a problem for McCain,' one adviser said. 'He'll take the bait and get sucked into fights.'" 
Interestingly, Obama is doing his debate prep in a swing state (or according to our map, a lean McCain state). Obama is holing up in Florida.

The AP profiles Gwen Ifill and her preparation for the Biden-Palin VP debate. "The Oct. 2 showdown between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will likely put Gwen Ifill before the biggest TV audience of her life. Given the extraordinary attention paid to the campaign and Palin's surprise selection as John McCain's running mate, it stands a strong chance of becoming the most-watched vice presidential debate ever. The standard was the 56.7 million viewers in 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman ever selected for a major party ticket."

"Barack Obama and John McCain ended August with about an equal amount of money in the bank -- $95 million and $94 million, respectively. But McCain gets an additional $84 million this month because he agreed to accept public campaign financing and the spending limitations that go with it." (Check out the photo of the giant "lipstick" Sarah Palin's holding up.)