The Jackson Clarion-Ledger: "The Oxford debate remained listed among 'upcoming events' on McCain's official campaign Web site, and the event page proclaimed: 'Please watch John McCain debate Barack Obama in a presidential debate focusing on foreign policy on September 26th in Oxford.' Most people at the University of Mississippi acted Thursday as if there was little doubt that the debate will happen, though. Media poured onto campus, and satellite trucks filled several parking lots. During certain times of the day, those walking across campus with press credentials and cameras outnumbered those carrying textbooks. Tents went up in the Grove for 'Issues Alley' -- a sort of information fair for young voters. A stage was erected for the Rock the Debate celebration today on campus."
"McCain's staff also was still working here to advance the senator's visit. His wife, Cindy, has events scheduled today. Ole Miss spokeswoman Barbara Lago confirmed that advance teams for Obama and McCain, as well as debate moderator Jim Lehrer, signed off on the debate facilities. 'Everything is in place and ready,' Lago said."
The Los Angeles Times' Z. Barabak does some expectations setting: "Obama, who once taught constitutional law, tends toward long, annotated answers and shrinks from verbal combat. His laid-back manner can seem aloof and, at times, condescending. McCain is blunt and relishes the cut and thrust of political battle, though his pugnacity can make him seem short-tempered and angry."
The LA Times also does a debate preview of sorts by comparing McCain's and Obama's foreign policies and noting that they've started to come closer together. "[O]n a striking list of particulars -- including Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq -- their differences have narrowed as election day has approached. In part, the migration reflects the complexity of this year's national security issues, knotty problems that have defied solutions proposed by partisans on the left or right. But the shift also reflects how the candidates are increasingly focusing on uncommitted voters."