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September 23rd, 2008
05:44 PM ET

What will you look for at the Presidential debates?

CNNs most recent polls have Obama at 49% and McCain at 44%.
CNNs most recent polls have Obama at 49% and McCain at 44%.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the polls tightening, the stakes for the upcoming presidential debates are getting higher. The first of three debates is set for this Friday in Mississippi. Despite all that is already known about John McCain and Barack Obama, presidential debates are famous for sometimes producing a moment that will change the outcome of the election. The pressure is definitely on.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama's advisers are looking for ways for Obama to provoke McCain's anger or to show that he's out of touch with the average American. McCain's advisers are coaching McCain to pounce on certain phrases Obama may say like "as I’ve said before..." A McCain aid told The Journal Obama uses that phrase on occasions where he's actually changed his mind.

The first debate was supposed to cover domestic issues, but both campaigns agreed to change it to foreign policy. McCain's camp feels foreign policy is his strong suit. Obama's advisers want to hold off on a domestic issues debate because they believe Obama will have the upper hand in that discussion.

Here’s my question to you: What will you be looking for when you watch the debates?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Anne from Seattle writes:
I'm looking for a revealing engagement that may encourage voters to take off their blinders. After all this isn't a game show or a soap opera but rather a significant glimpse into America's future.

Pam writes:
I'll be watching to see how much aggression versus diplomacy I hear from John McCain and how much actual knowledge Barack Obama has.

Tom from Pasadena, California writes:
I want Obama to bring up the fact that John McCain remains the only presidential candidate to have been formally reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising "poor judgment". If this happened to Obama, the Republicans would be beating him over the head with it.

Gene writes:
If Obama gives even one intelligent answer, I'll be looking for his teleprompter.

Brian writes:
The Obama-McCain debate? Boring. But Sarah Palin versus Joe Biden? I can hardly wait! What a train wreck that will be. I'm already laughing.

Russ from Johnston, Iowa writes:
I'll be looking for millions of voters to wise-up, and realize that both Republicans and Democrats have gotten us into the situation we are in, they are really not much different, and it's time to vote for someone other than a donkey or an elephant.

JD from North Carolina writes:
I'm going to look for a little radio unit under McCain's coat.


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Gail Rogers

    I will be looking for Barack Obama to mop the floor up with John McCain.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  2. LYNDA

    I Will look for McPain having a hissy-fit , and have to send him to the corner for a, TIME OUT!!!

    September 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    I will be looking for further proof that John McCain just doesn't get it. I think that is why he has been avoiding the press, along with his sidekick Sarah Palin. I don't know how anyone expects to get elected without being willing to answer questions from the press.

    I fully expect Barack Obama to be his usual wonderful self and make a great performance in the debate!

    September 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  4. jcd

    I'm looking for Obama to totally expose McCain's dementia....

    September 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  5. maurice jamall

    I will look for Obama trying to make well thought through points and McCain trying to equate carpet-bombing Vietnamese civilians with honourable service.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Jayne

    One word: confidence. If a candidate does not have a grasp of the issues and how to solve problems, it should be readily apparent. We need not just a smart leader, but a brilliant leader at this dire time in history.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Richard

    I will be looking for Barrack Obama to expose McCain for the incompetent liar that he is.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Elizabeth

    Sincerity, responsiveness to topics [i.e., not boilerplate spin products] and most of all, an aura or sense of honorable intelligence rather than expedience or preaching to the choir.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Another channel.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  10. Mason

    I look for bias against Sen. Obama to continue. I look for McCain to continue to lie and receive a pass for doing so by the media. This is still so obviously a racist country for all the world to see.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Lynn, Douglas, Georgia

    I will be looking to Obama for a KO. If he doesn't knock it outta the park, he'll lose this election and the first debate is pivotal. After watching the last two elections, we all know if he doesn't win by a landslide, he doesn't win.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  12. Curtis from California

    Someone must ask John McCain- Why is Sarah Palin qualified to be Vice President of the United States, and not qualified to answer questions from the press??? This lady was a sportscaster, she has on air experience. She's a Alaskan Governor, she's used to the press... WHY MUST SHE HIDE? I'm so upset about this Jack.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  13. Jack Carlson

    Honesty is what the American People desire – solutions Jack.
    Not, talk and talk and more talk that sounds good but has to substance.
    Jack Carlson
    Seattle WA

    September 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  14. lorraine deitchman

    How about 1 straight answer....

    September 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Tom in Aurora, CO

    Dear Jack, I'll be looking for intelligent and toughtful answers, not the same sound-bite heavily scripted knee jerk rsponses that have been so prevelent on the stump.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  16. tom tyskiewicz

    JACK,
    I WANT TO COUNT THE TIMES McCAIN BLINKS HIS EYES!

    September 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Alex

    the truth from both candidates

    September 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Debbie, Illinois

    I will look for anything bulging from McCain's back like what happened in the Bush/Kerry debate. I remember then Bush writing fevorusly while Kerry was talking. Seriously, though I will be looking mostly at McCain to see if he has a senior moment. I will look for quick answers and ones that I can understand. I know that will come from Obama!!

    September 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  19. mitchell ,arkansaw

    i'll be looking for sen. mccain to lose his temper ,his bearings, and his memory of the key players in the middle east ,and eastern europe. for example: [czhechoslovakia, iraq/pakistan border, and shiites and sunniis ,and their relationship to al-qaeda.] in 90 minutes, he's bound to make several slips. if he loses control, he's finished.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    Ever since Nixon lost to Kennedy the debates have become a non event, another staged political farce. The rules they work by make it really hard for anyone to show their true selves. In the end analysis will show that the candidate you favor won. I was interested in the Biden/Palin debate but appartently handlers have done their best to make sure niether candidate will be allowed to express themselves or make a serious gaff. Like the conventions they have become a scripted non event. Most people seem to be sheep and support a candidate based on criteria like race, religion,"patriotism" etc ,rather than judging a candidate on his or her merits.Still I would love to see McCain stumble and Palin fall on her face.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  21. Mel Bullhead City AZ

    I will look for Barack Obama to be strong, straightforward, confident and let the American people that he will save the middle class in this country.....and if, for any reason, he fails to win the election this year, the majority of Americans will see their lifestyles and quality of life dissipate beginning Nov. 5th and forever.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  22. Cassie, NC

    Whether or not the candiates have the solutions to the problems not just small answers. Whether either one will give us something new not the same speaking points that they have been giving us on the stump and do they really know what they are talking about.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  23. deborah black kansas city

    I want them to stop the bail out. Before the debate. I do not see how either one can justify the welfare for the rich. Why doesn't the government go after the people who made the huge billion dollars of profits during this time? Why do they get to keep their money, their mansions, their cars, their yachts? Take that stuff first, then if it is not enough, come to the people. If McCain gets in, he will use this crisis, just like George Bush used 9/11. McCain will say, we can't afford health insurance, we can't afford medicare, we can't afford social security, we can't afford roads or shcools and will push to privatize everything. You can bet we will still be able to afford all the wars he wants. We have welfare and socialism for the rich and everyone else lives in poverty and suffering.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  24. Linda in southern Indiana

    I'll be looking for sensible answers to the economy, health care, gasoline prices, and their opinion on the Wall Street crisis. I want to gauge which candidate is most in touch with middle class America. I would like to hear John McCain explain how someone with 13 cars and 7 homes can understand how many people in this country are worried about getting through the week with grocery costs and gasoline prices souring. In Southern Indiana just today another factory is shutting down with 392 employees losing their jobs!

    September 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  25. Stephen

    I will be looking for the ghost of JFK looming over the debates, Jack, specifically the first one which deals with Foreign Policy, John McCain's supposed area of expertise. My prediction is that McCain and his advisors are consistantly underestimating Barack Obama as many others, myself included have done in the past. There would lie his mistake in all of its Nixonian Glory. McCain may carry the rhetorical shiv, but Obama may very well carry the grenade. Look for a few surprises on Obama's part.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  26. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I will be looking to see if Obama challenges McCain on his normal falsehoods and distortions, or he just lets him get away with them, as usual.
    Also, I will be looking to see if Obama is concise and to the point, rather than the sometimes rambling responses which makes him appear unsure. I hope Obama performs well, because McCain-Palin would be a problem for all of America.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  27. renee col oh

    I will be looking for the truth jack, nothing but the truth, that's something john mccain has a hard time finding

    September 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  28. Mark - Asheville, NC

    This year it's really simple: I want to see which nominee is more ready to be President. Actually, it was like that in 2000 and 2004, although the wrong person won (or stole the election), but my requirements are the same. I want to see if viewers will value readiness to lead more than rock star celebrity. It's obvious how all but one network's commentators will appraise the performances, but I still hope that the viewers will cut through all that hype. And I suspect that they will.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  29. veronica

    I will tell you what I dont want to see..... I dont want to see McCain get a free pass on questions as he has so often in the past. I want to see him being forced to answer the questions.... not be all these stump speeches that he give. NO MORE FREE PASSES FOR MCCAIN!

    milton, florida

    September 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  30. Laszlo in L.A.

    McCain needs to stay on point, not look like he's lost and at the same time, not lash out at Obama or blow his cool the way he nearly did sharing the stage with Mitt Romney during the GOP primaries.

    Obama has the same challenge. His oratory at the Saddleback conference lost people who are not Obama lovers. He needs to deliver at least one direct hit in the form of a sound byte CNN can play all week long.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  31. will

    Hope and no fear!

    McCain = no change

    Oboma/Biden 2008

    September 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  32. Tom, Bradenton,FL

    I will be looking for McCains retirement announcement and Palins announcement that she'll go back to the bundocks.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  33. Jackie in Dallas

    I will be looking for reasoned, thoughtful answers - and real answers, not talking points. I will be looking for honest answers, as far as I can ascertain they are honest, not just what I think the candidates think we want to hear.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  34. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, Jack, I hope truth and substance.
    We have been bombarded with so many lies, distortions
    and attacks, rather than issues, policies and beliefs,
    am doubtful we can expect much more.
    Alot will depend on the moderator as to whether
    he allows pandering instead of answers to
    questions.
    Hope he is tough and demans what the American
    people deserve.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  35. Sara Twogood

    Jack,

    I will be looking for precise, solid answers to the questions that are asked. I believe in a debate they should answer the question completely as it was asked. There is too much scooting around the question today, and I think that will be important because of the horrible situations this country is in. As a young voter, I am looking for answers in regards to the future of this country, not next year, or the year after, but what about things that want to be accomplished within 10 years. This is a critical debate and I hope the canidates take this very seriously. It's time the American people got answers to all of our questions.

    Sara Twogood
    Denver, CO

    September 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  36. Jeremy: Port Huron, Mi

    I will be looking for others to see the light and realize that McCain is not what this country needs at this point. I will hope that these McCain supporters wake up and take this whole election seriously and stop insisting that Palin is ready to be Vice President, that McCain is ready to reform, and that the Republicans are going to fix the health care problems. It's almost sickening to listen to these McCains supporters talk about how this country will move forward under another four years of Republican leadership and honestly makes me fear for our future.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  37. Ryan Beaverton, Oregon

    Seeing as this is a debate on foreign policy, I expect to hear about 9/11 and the courage our soldiers. I look for McCain to talk about the dire threat of islamic extremism and Obama to talk about the war in Afghanistan. Nothing new it seems will come of this. I am most looking forward to the jokes after the debates, specifically the SNL skit that is sure to be done.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  38. GlenR

    It will interesting to see if McCain keep doing the delicate dance of being the maverick who is also a Washington insider.

    I want Obama to be connect with people and convince them that he is worthy of their vote. He has to have his facts together but pressent them in a way people understand.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  39. Libby

    Demeanor. I want to see confidence. Control. I want to know that the man that is going to try to save this great nation has what it takes and can confidently express himself to the American public. I want direct answers and not a lot of double talk. This country has never been in the shape it is in today. We need someone how can take the reigns on this runaway train and pull things back on track.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  40. Chuck Darling

    Jack:

    I would like to see a totally unscripted debate.
    I realize that is a lot to ask from this campaign, but once the candidates actually get themselves elected, there will be times when
    events requiring their input, and wisdom, will be required by the world.

    It would be nice to see just how prepared our candidates are, for the real event.

    I am not so cynical to think that every response will ALWAYS be scripted.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  41. Murphy

    I'd like to see the women from the view hold the debate. They've asked tougher questions of McCain than anyone else. He's had a sweet ride on the straight talk express thus far. If he's forced to answer whether or not if he believes in smears and lies his campaign has put out, the straight talk express might get a flat. It's what I'd like to see, but I doubt it will happen. Man, the world needs more Joy Behar.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  42. Murphy

    I’d like to see the women from the view hold the debate. They’ve asked tougher questions of McCain than anyone else. He’s had a sweet ride on the straight talk express thus far. If he’s forced to answer whether or not if he believes in smears and lies his campaign has put out, the straight talk express might get a flat. It’s what I’d like to see, but I doubt it will happen. Man, the world needs more Joy Behar.

    Bronxville, NY

    September 23, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  43. Jim in Minneapolis, Mn

    Jack,
    A lot of it will depend on the questions asked, but for the most part I expect them both to beat the same dead horses. If anyone has been paying attention, they pretty much know both of their foreign policy stances by this point. So in that case I view this like a car race, boring for the most part, but we'll all be waiting for someone to crash or spin out. Personally I think the younger driver has the skill and intellect to keep us on the road.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  44. Gigi in Alabama

    I would like to learn what to expect when they become president. Are they going to fight for the middle class (which is fast becoming the have nots) or are they going to keep up this trickle down thing that is benefiting only the very rich?

    I would also like to know more about their plans for social security, health care and education. I am tired of sound bites . . . I would now like to have the full message.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  45. Candy West Virginia

    Well nothing short of Barack trying to kill me will change my vote for him because I love my country, so the debates will not matter to me in the least. However I am going to watch them to see if it is possible for John Mccain to set his own record on how many lies he tells or will he actually break Sarah Palin's record on lying (which will be difficult).

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  46. Jeremy in Mesa, Arizona

    I will look to see what John McCain looks like with out his teleprompter. Does anyone think this clown really has a chance against Obama? I hope he embarrasses him to the point of no return and reminds the American people John McCain has an entire team of lobbyists running his campaign.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  47. Ruie - Michigan

    Dear Jack: I'll be looking for how many times McClone says "My friends, you know one time I didn't even have a house . . . therefore I am more qualified than Obama to handle foreign policy.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  48. Lee, Los Angeles, CA

    I will be watching the debates to see how much trouble we're really in and which candidate will get us into less trouble than the other.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  49. Zeke in Weed, NM

    For Barack Obama, I'll be looking at how Presidential he might appear to be. For John McCain, I'll be looking for any precancerous lesions that might threaten his Presidency.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  50. Conor in Chicago

    I am hoping that McCain snaps and tacles Obama or calls him a racial slur or something because short of that Obama never wins this election. There are far too many dumb people in the country who would rather hear a sound bite that makes them feel good, despite its truth or lack thereof, than hear a well reasoned argument from someone we should at least hear out-even if he is half African-American(hint hint) I fully expect Obama to make a well reasoned argument full of evidence and sound thinking. I fully expect McCain to remind everybody that he was a POW and say some stupid jingoistic phrase like, "Freedom isn't free" or "Freedom is always worth the price" and more than half the country will say, "ah gee look, he keeps things simple and patriotic-let's vote for him and not think about it".

    September 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  51. James from Virginia

    Whether or not McShame just uses it to try and slam on Obama because he (McLame) knows nothing about the issues just like his vice presidential nominee.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  52. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    There is an importance in being earnest. I don't want to hear that the Republican position is that the fundamentals of the economy are sound.

    I don't want to hear that we need to deregulate the market.

    I don't want to hear that social security needs to be privatized and deregulated in the same way Graham, McCain, and his lobbyists deregulated Wall Street.

    I'm tired of being treated like an idiot, and think it shows a fundamental disrespect for Democracy.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  53. Jeremy in Mesa, Arizona

    I hope Obama compares the Bush administrations adamant refusal to comply with subpoena's the same way Palin's camp is doing in Alaska. This is what the American people are sick and tired of being sick and tired of.

    John McCain take note, it's not the earmarks we care about. Perhaps Obama was right when he said "John McCain just doesn't get it".

    September 23, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  54. Anthony, Dallas, Tx

    I pretty much know what answers I will hear, but I really want to know why McCain is keeping Palin from answering questions.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  55. Dave

    I just want them to look into the camera and be real! answer the question don't lolly gag speak the truth not what we want to hear. If its bad then its bad and if its good then its good. The people will behind you no matter what . The truth will set you free

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  56. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Substance instead of whining about the other candidate. Yall hear that, McCain?

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  57. Lucy in Chicago, Illinois

    I want to be able to count the number of times that McCain says "my friends." Like we really believe this.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  58. sunday pavlock

    I will be looking for McCain to fall off the fence he's been sitting on.
    Will he use his own words and slogans or will he continue to "parrot" Obama ? Does McCain have an original idea that will fly with an educated audience?
    So far,all we've heard from him is either the Bush doctrine or the Obama messages!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  59. Gene

    This bailout is Georage Bush's Coup De Grase, he is going to give the US the last wack before he leaves office. Gene. Pouget Sound.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  60. tom cassidy-florida

    To see what happens when the president of the Harvard Law Review debates a guy who graduated 894 out of a class of 899 at a military school.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  61. Shirley -AK OHIO

    I'm not looking for anything, I am just watching it because it will be on TV. I am voting for Obama and I just wish these 6 weeks would hurry up and be over. This election is a complete joke. The McCain camp thinks the American people are stupid, but you know what stupid is what stupid does and if you select the wrong person you deserve what you get.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  62. California

    I will look for thoughtful answers. I do not want a President who speaks off the cuff and then spends days recanting.

    I will look for someone who is putting the time and effort into learning what he needs to know to be President. I do not want a President who is overconfident and thinks he already knows it all.

    I will look for someone who will speak with advisors about a crisis before speaking to the media. I do not want a President who will fire someone without finding out WHY the problem exists.

    I will look for honest answers and I don't mind someone who says "I don't know, but I will find out". I don't want a President who says "I know but I don't want to share it with you". He might as well had said "I don't know and I don't care!"

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  63. Wooster Woodward

    I'll be looking for some straight talk!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  64. Susie in Alpharetta, GA

    I'm looking for Obama to close the deal and show his quick thinking and for McCain to say "my friend" about 50,000 times.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  65. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    I hope that McBush doesn't get to lie and lie, and push all his negativity around. I've noticed on youtube, when Mcbush gets angry, he takes his glasses off and put them in his pocket, then takes them out again, over and over. So I'm hoping he will show his anger and his confusion.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  66. PW, Arizona

    Let's start with an IQ over 80.

    From there, I'd like to see the candidates depart from the script with some real suggestions about what they would do if they get elected.

    I'd like to see some honesty and someone who's willing to tell the American people that we'll have to change our ways to have a better country - that includes the banking system, dependence on fossil fuels, health care, education and more.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could wire both of them to on-screen lie detectors while they debate?

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  67. Patricia

    I am hoping that when Sen. McCain tries to slig his mud at Sen. Obama that Sen. Obama will answer his mud with truth & that he use the truth about Sen. McCain's mud slinging. Then I hope Sen. Obama has real answers for the mess we are in. I think he does have the answers, I hope he's allowed to articulate them.
    Patricia
    Palmdale, Ca.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  68. don in naples, florida

    I will look for exactitude, supreme confidence, and standing firm on a position. There has been waffling by all of the candidates from both parties and now is the time to declare truly where each stands.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  69. Geri Britt

    I will be looking for straight forward objective and intelligent answers to the questions from both candidates without any hem hawing around. None of "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH I love to do the sidestep!"

    Geri – Mead, OK

    September 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  70. Laurence (Washington, DC)

    I'll be looking for John McCain to sound the least bit intelligent. It's time for him to rebound because he's still as unimpressive now as he was when he started his awfully-run campaign. Barack should just be quiet; McCain will say too much of nothing, have irratic impulsive responses, and ask his aides why the lights are so dim around him but so bright on his lipstick wearing pitbull who panders so well.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  71. Jon in Colorado

    I'll be looking for the bulge in the back that Bush had during the 2004 debates so that Karl Rove can feed him lines.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  72. G.M.

    Real concrete solutions for the economy, real plans with figures and cleat responsibilities, no promisses without a plan to accomplish them.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  73. David

    McCain bringing out a diorama of the Hanoi Hilton. And possibly him having a meltdown epiphany when he finally is confronted – without a wall of advisers – that his dirty campaign means he is a man of dishonor, not honor.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  74. Brianne

    Unfortunately I am not looking forward to either of them speaking. We have already heard all that they have to say and I am sure that they know what they are going to say. I know one mantra each campaign is spouting - practice, practice, practice.

    Kingsville, Texas

    September 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  75. Pat in Chantilly

    I'm hoping to see Obama hit a home run so that his competence shines. I hope that Obama pushes the right buttons to expose the real John McCain. McCain has flip-flopped so much–what kind of judgment is that. I want to see him continue to tie McCain to Bush. The entire world sees Bush as an idiot and the worst President to date and McCain agreed with him 90% of the time. After all a good indicator of future performance is based on past performance. I don't want to hear anymore about his service in the war. Members of my family have served in WWII, Vietnam and Iraq but they are not qualified to be President.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  76. richard a. winkler

    I will be waiting for McCain to stick his foot in his mouth, again.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  77. Barbara Stevens

    I would like to hear something other than the typical campaign rhetoric. I hope the questions are specific where the candidates offer plausible solutions rather than arguments about what the other won't do.

    Barb Stevens
    Michigan

    September 23, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  78. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    I would like to get straight answers with real solutions to the big problems facing America.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  79. Rosie

    I will be looking for honest answers and some kind of clue to their platform. It would be nice to know where they really stand on all the issues.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  80. RLouden

    I doubt either will give us details on their plans, so I am looking to see if McCain breaks and has a temper tantrum and watching to see if Obama can speak at the ground level not the forty thousand foot level.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  81. voter1

    I'll be looking for McCain to give permission for his VP to talk to the press. If permission is not given, I think the press should stop covering her events.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  82. jean

    I will be looking for someone who isn't supportive of corruption, like Obama did when he endorsed Chicago Richard Daley, and Todd Stroger for senate. Chicago one of the most corrupt Polictical Machine in Politics. How can you say your for change and endorse corruption?

    September 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  83. Dennis Toms

    Responsible answers to thought provoking questions. Nerves of steel. Some humor at the appropriate time. No bluffing through an answer. Professionalism. Respect the other person. Agree to disagree.

    KY

    September 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  84. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack, As biased as I believe our press is, whether for the liberal or conservative, I trust it much more than our political and economic leadership. What with attack ads in campaigns, spin about issues from both sides, and out and out lies, read an anual report, we are inundated with so much drival. Then when these morons get caught by reporters and their lies exposed they cry and attack the press as out to get them. Bill Clinton and "Duke" Cunningham, I rest my case.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  85. Stephanie, San Antonio TX

    I’ll be looking for McCain to give permission for his VP to talk to the press. If permission is not given, I think the press should stop covering her events.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  86. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    I want to look for questions that might be from ringers placed in the audience to allow the nominee's to give a prearranged answer that would make that one nominee look better. I really do question the insistance on ONLY Town Hall style debates by Senator McCain.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  87. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    I'm looking for a debate moderator who will put the screws to both candidates. No more fluff, no pre-determined questions, no "can we skip to the question about..." I will be looking for realistic, direct, hard-hitting questions that concern the American public. I swear if I hear one thing about lipstick or pigs, I'll have a nervous breakdown.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  88. Wilbur

    . . . . The credits at the end.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  89. S, Michigan

    The commercial breaks!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  90. robert woertendyke

    I have seen McCain side step good honest questions from his own constituents. If he can not anwer their questions how could we expect him to answer questions from the moderator. He will us the debate to continue his talking points which strangely change from day to day.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  91. Jennifer W (Burlington, IA)

    I will be looking for the candidate that shows confidence and sound judgement. I certainly don't want a candidate that just throws something out there in a crisis without knowing the affects of the plan being decided upon in congress-McCain! I also be looking for someone that can stay cool and calm under pressure. Basically, I'll be looking for Obama because we all know McCain is none of those things. LOL!!!!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  92. Robdrummerman

    I do think Sarah Palin was a good choice for the Obama/Biden ticket. I believe, she will let true colors spill on debate night. She has no virtual foreign policy experience yet, in many interviews I've seen of her, she clearly stands for 1 way and one way only. She allows no exceptions. As an American myself, I suppose I agree with that. The only problem there is that our constitution and bill of rights do not support her agenda. I consider myself a D+politician, where as I look at the president and VP as an A+politician. Their job as president and Vp is obviously to represent the people. It's going to be interesting to see how well "Smokin' Joe" responds to her, I can't wait!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  93. Carolyn Griffin

    I'll be looking for Obama to subtely wipe the smarmy, "my friends",
    phony smile off of McCain's face as he quietly, politely guts him.

    Carolyn
    Georgetown, Texas
    just up the road from Austin

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  94. Doreen, Cornelia Georgia

    Jack,
    Just like during the nomination debates I will look forward to see if they can pay attention to the "light". if they would just answer the question they are given it shouldn't be a problem. i would also like to see the moderator hold their feet to the fire and MAKE them answer the question. If Jim Lehrer can't, i'll leave my number – I'd be happy to do it!
    Doreen
    Cornelia, Georgia

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  95. Rocco Dadamo

    I will be looking to see if McCain is standing on a soap box to try and elevate himself to Obama's level. And I'm not referring to height.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  96. Hillary

    I'll be looking for Palin to spit out blanket rhetoric, rather than substantive responses, just like she always does.

    -Hillary, Atlanta, GA

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  97. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Take a drink every time a candidate side-steps a question and gives a tangential answer. You'll be so gone by the time the fourth question is asked, that what these two idiots are saying will actually start to make sense.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  98. Look into their eyes....

    One thing I noticed when I watch both McCain and Obama talking. Mr. McCain has to constantly look down to see what he is supposed to say. But when Mr. Obama talks, it must be coming from his heart, because he knows why he is running for President and what he has been saying all along. Either that or he has an incredible memory.
    Take a look next time you watch either speak.
    Dave
    Chico, CA.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  99. Ron K.

    Hi Jack:

    Some intelligence. I doubt either one is capable of that.

    Ron San Diego

    September 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  100. Joe Reese

    Jack, I will be watching for breaking news interrupting the debates to show the Wall Sreet movers and shakers bailing out of the upper story windows (without their "Golden Parachutes") after Congress does their job and refuses to bail them out. If Congress does bail them out I'll be watching for McCain to tell us "Little People" how patiotic we are for paying our taxes to save the upper ten percent who don't think having their taxes raised would be "patiotic".
    Joe from Yuma, Az.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  101. Jason, Koloa, HI

    One more thing Jack,

    I think it would make the debate more interesting if CNN had some kind of National contest to guess how long into the debate McCain says the phrase "9/11" in a sentence.

    I've got my money on six minutes and thirteen seconds.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  102. Connie, Chicago, Illinois

    will be looking for McCain to have pat answers tor every question, , which will confirm that he had all the questions prior to the debate just like Saddleback Church. Obama will exude supreme confidence, knowledge, coolness, and a fierceness in his character that he’s kept well-hidden. I also expect the moderators to attempt feeble opportunities to trip-up Obama, at whch point, Obama will deftly sidestepthem like Muhummad Ali used on his boxing opponents.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  103. Annie, Raleigh, NC

    Hi Jack,
    Anyone that does not sound like, look like, speak like or resemble George Bush.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  104. Rachel

    I will be waiting for McCain to explain all the lies he has been putting forth and I will be counting how many times he says "My Friends". So annoying!!!!!

    Rachel, Atlanta

    September 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  105. Sam - Basalt, CO

    Britany, Paris, lipstick, pigs, pitbulls, and hockey moms... I could care less about the debates. The choice is clear: another four years of lies, tax breaks for the wealthy, and reckless wars, or a president who fights for the working class. Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  106. Deborah

    I do not like whining and I am particularly frustrated with the Palin whine-lines – 'they are being so unfair and they are picking on me because I am a woman/Mother'.

    This is politics and a very important race. It is time to act like a leader, stop the whining and get down to some truth telling for a change. Who is willing to tell the truth – even when it hurts and who does the least whining. That is what I am looking for. Not what I am expecting but it is what I want to see.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  107. Robert Childress

    Why can't Main Street get a percentage of stock for the investment of capitol they are injecting into Wall Street?

    After all Wall Street's mission is to make profits, then why shouldn't Main Street expect to receive a return on their investment and have the profits placed in a lock box labeled Social Security Trust Fund, that can't be raided by Wall Street or Congressional buccaneers for tax breaks, balance the budget or fund wars.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  108. Jim

    I hope that we will see less "Smoke and Mirrors" and more of the truth about what the candidates are planning to do about our economy and this wonderful nation that I have served to defend for almost 10 years of my life. I am absolutely disgusted with the misappropriation of funds and the fiscal irresponsibilty of the people in charge of our hard earned dollars. Can somebody actually do what they say they will do and stand up on Capitol Hill for what they believe and know is the right thing to do....that is what I hope we see in these debates and in the next administration! God Bless the USA......hopefully we will still be looked at with respect when all the dust falls!

    September 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  109. John

    Jack: The debates will help some make up their minds who to vote for in November, but I hope Obama scores really big on Friday. McCain is mired down to much in the Washington scene, and he is one of the main deregulators in the Senate for the past 10 years in the Banking Business. Deregulation of banking has let to the bailouts we have seen in the few months. Senator Obama must overcome a built-in prejudice of being the first African-American to run for the Presidency. He needs to win big to overcome these misinformed people who vote according to race.

    John
    Alabama

    September 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  110. Carolyn Griffin

    I mean figuratively.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  111. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I would like to know when we are going to ask Iraq to start spending some of the $80 billion they have in the bank, on their country? How long do they think we can keep spending billions of dollars a week on Iraq, that we have to borrow with our economy being in bad shape? I personally feel that we need to get out of Iraq because we can afford it.
    Afghanistan help cause the collapse of the Soviet Union because they could not afford the cost of the war.

    September 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  112. Dick Tessmer

    It shows that the growing season is longer in New York than in Alaska.

    Dick in Henry, IL

    September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  113. Rob, San Diego

    I will be looking for what Obama, McCain, and (hopefully) Bob Barr have to say about these ridiculous bailouts. I have a feeling Obama and McCain will both support the Bush plan, while Barr will be opposed to it.

    Obama and McCain both want change, but both support this ridiculous BUSH policy?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  114. D.J.Lauter

    I will look for honesty in the debates. Telling lies on the campaign trail about the other candidate irk me.
    McCain told lies about Romney the night before Florida voted, and Romney lost.
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  115. Steven Lehmann

    Jack,

    Like you I'll be watching the Presidential Debates and Veep Debates too. And I'm guessing we've both made up our minds and have similar thoughts on who we'll vote for. Yet, I will watch the debates and I'll be rooting for my candidate like I root for the Cleveland Browns against the dreaded Pittsburg Steelers.

    Let's hope McCain has a few senior moments like his many gaffs this campaign season.

    Steven Lehmann
    Fostoria, Ohio

    September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  116. Dennis

    Palin meeting with heads of state seems as logical as the Fed talking a trillion dollars from the American people and giving it to the crooks on wallstreet, so that they can once again loan it back at a profit to the American people. Clinton will host farm day to promote the people of her state. Quite unique a Senator that represents her state.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  117. Michelle

    I want a healthy debate, no mud slinging or lies, I want to hear that our soldiers are coming home, that new ideas for green technology will bring out new jobs for those that are lost, keep our green at home, solutions and plans to impliment them. I want to know that as an American we can join other Americans and make this country strong again.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  118. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    I will be counting the number of times McCain says "my friends." He isn't my friend and I wish he would stop calling me one!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  119. annec, glenside pa

    Jack, it doesn't matter. Republicans will claim it's a win for them and Democrats will calim it's their win, no matter what the outcome. What really matters is the perception of the media since they seem to have a large influence on the voters, ie Sara Palin.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  120. Dayton W.

    I will be looking for Obama to keep his composure while John Mc Cain begins to feel the squeeze in his shorts. Obama will be stating " that the economy did not just get this way overnight and that our relationships with others can be percieved as us being a Bully at times. Obama can and will talk the talk and on Nov. 4 begin the Walk to the White house come Jan. 20 , 2009.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  121. Mmhmmm

    I don't know if I can bear to watch. I'll just second what I have heard about home runs & floor wiping.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  122. Mike B. (Louisiana)

    Jack,

    I'm hope that Obama hits McSame hard on issue #1 and stop trying to be all dignified. He needs to Stress to McSame our frustration on this darn housing mess, and how McSame not only put this mess on him, but blamed the middle class and poor people for wanting the privilage of buying a home for our families. Remind him that the Republican camp called us Whinners. We all know that he is a War Hero don't let him dwell on that. Acknowledge that for him and then move on. We need change not Mcsame.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  123. Lesley, Lighthouse Point FL

    Jack, Call me an optimist. I will be hoping that all Americans will be viewing this with open minds because if they are, they will finally see why Obama is the only choice. He is intellegent, innovative, thoughtful and capable to listen to all sides of an argument. We need new leadership. Leadership that is about all Americans, not just a few extreme religious groups.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  124. Laura

    Jack, I will be looking for Obama and McCain to clearly and quickly describe what they will do to address this country's issues ... WITHOUT resorting to bashing the other guy. I am so sick of hearing the candidates bash the other guy to boost their own position, and of all the talk about stuff that doesn't matter, e.g., lipstick, moose-hunting, pigs, cars – they need to just stick to the facts and tell us how they'll handle the difficult challenges ahead.

    Laura
    Dallas, TX

    September 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  125. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Jack, its too bad that the first debate is on foreign policy, since most Americans do not care about the "world"......... we live in bubbles.

    My husband and I will be looking to see who is confident, brilliant, articulate and has done their homework.

    Sadly, the majority of Americans will not watch this nor any other debate. We have a totally uninformed electorate. That's why this election more than any other, CNN and other media must do their very best at informing us!

    PS. we are Independents supporting Sen. Obama!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  126. Steven Lehmann

    Jack,

    Like you I'll be watching the Presidential Debates and Veep Debates too. And I'm guessing we've both made up our minds and have similar thoughts on who we'll vote for. Yet, I will watch the debates and I'll be rooting for my candidate like I root for the Cleveland Browns against the dreaded Pittsburg Steelers.

    Let's hope McCain has a few senior moments like his many gaffs this campaign season.

    Oh, I'm going to count the times Senator McCain says "my friends" and possibly play a game like I did in college watching Bob Newhart.

    Steven Lehmann
    Fostoria, Ohio

    September 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  127. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    To all of you democrats if you studied history you would have known (well documented) that John Kennedy would have lost the election to Nixon except under the than (Mayor Dailey) voting ballots in chicago were destroyed for Nixon and dead people voted for Kennedy. It was close enough that the election was fixed in Chicago. This one will not be that close.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  128. ANGIE IN PA

    I will be looking for obama to call Mcain out on all of his lies back Mccain into the corner and see if Mccains Bad temper flares up!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  129. JD in NC

    I'm going to look for a little radio unit under McCain's coat.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  130. john ...................... marlton nj

    Verbal sucker punches, name calling, snide remarks, sexism, racism, questoining each others patriotism, bodily noises, finger pointing, grunting, and yawns, but most important, immediately following the debate listening to all the ding-bat pundits claiming victory for their candidate.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  131. James B. / Driggs, ID

    I'm a very shallow and superficial voter. Don't bother me with substance. I want to know what the canidates are wearing. I'll be looking for Obama's flag pin and McCain's $500 shoes.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  132. Mike - Hot Springs, Ar.

    I just want Obama to attack McCain on all of his lies. I want McCain to have to explain why he has turned into such a lousy human being. The world is on the brink of disaster because of Bush and his group of idiots and this is the question you are asking.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  133. Kerry Diehl

    No expectations…it’s going to be the same old, same old – This really isn't the debate to watch......Besides, the media will be telling us what these two really meant and said for the next 3 weeks (in their typical biased manor).

    The Palin/Biden debate will be the "Biggy".

    Biden has experience, but is more recognized for his gaffs than anything else. (This is why he has been so out of sight so as not to embarrass Obama more than he already has.) Palin has more on the ball than she is given credit for and may just disappoint the liberals and Dems by giving Joe "Blunder" a good run for his money.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  134. Bob from Kane, PA

    Complete honesty and no "question-dodging" - especially by Sen McCain when the host asks if some of the ads he approved were lies.

    I had been a McCain supporter until it began to look like he was only pretending to be a maverick ...that the real politician is being revealed.

    Hopefully the debates can prove that he is really not another "yes-man"!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  135. Diane in TN

    Jack,

    I'll be looking at their facial expressions and into their eyes. Jack, we know through their eyes we can see into their souls....I heard that from a leader somewhere. Oh, and I'll be looking for flag pins.

    Diane
    Franklin, TN

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  136. Sam Hill, Toronto, Canada.

    I'll be looking for Barack Obama to seal the deal with the American people. Let him show the Americans that after they have suffered all about Iraq war caused by George Bush and supported by Mr McCain, after people have lost their jobs and houses due to voodo economic theory of the Republicans and supported by McCain, it is time for a fresh air that will be introduced by the Democrats under the Smart Senator Barack Obama.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  137. Stacy, Boston, MA

    I'll be looking for actual substance, not just talking points repeated over and over again. It would also be nice for a candidate to admit when he doesn't have a miracle solution to a long-standing problem instead of just giving us pie-in-the-sky answers. I also think that a candidate who can maintain composure under pressure and not devolve into nothing but criticism of the other candidate, is, in part, a good measure of leadership skills.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  138. Fred

    Can the person or persons responsible for censoring everything I post explain the reason for that? I have never sworn and I have certainly never been as hateful as many of your anti McCain/Palin posters. I can only conclude that your liberal ideology cannot deal with conflicting viewpoints and that you fear allowing the syncophants whose hateful posts you allow to see a well presented counter argument. Then again, maybe you just don't believe in freedom of speech.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  139. Danp

    A hearing aid and a poorly taylored suit.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  140. Shane in Boston

    Why are they even having a debate? Everyone knows McCain is a terrible public speaker and looks just awful – deer in headlights awful – there is no good that can come from McCain pontificating on the idea that we should continue four more years of a Republican in the White House.
    It should really be a Q&A session with Barack Obama in a half Republican, half Democrat venue with John McCain and his staff sitting front row with a notepad, maybe trying to come up with an original idea and taking notes on how to not look like a robot on stage.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  141. Dave B. KS

    I will be looking for the candidate that shows composer and offers direct solutions to the problems we face today. I'm sick and tired of knee-jerk politics, emotional soundbites, and a complete pandering to the lower ranks of American voters. America can't handle another president that represents who we want to drink beer with... we need an intelligent leader who is capable of creating policies that will lead our country out of the deep waters we face today, as well as concentrate on optimistic visions for the future. Obama fits the bill to lead us back to high ground, we've had almost 2 years to kick his tires, and these debates only feed the media frenzy for soundbites. I've made up my mind.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  142. John-Collinsville,IL.

    I am looking for that blank look on McCains face every times he lies.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  143. Karl in CA

    I'm looking forward to Obama nailing McCain to the wall and Biden to show Palin up as the ditsy no-nothing she really is. Take that one speech tape out of her player and she can't even talk.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  144. Marie Ontario

    Well being a senior myself and realizing how age has diminished some of my abilities as compared to just a few years ago it will be interesting to watch John McCain's demeanor.

    Although I still a few years younger than John and still a long ways from being senile I am almost certain he will show signs of the aging process to a larger degree than I have recognized in myself.

    This to me is a great concern as John's scholastic achievements in his younger years were terrible to say the least and if you combine his intellectual capacity of that time period and degrade with the aging factor then that is what I would call very very scary.

    The other factor will be his temperment as both you and I know Jack our ability to hold our tempers has also taken a direct hit with our age.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  145. John

    Jack, the debate will show the candidate stand and policy in term of the subject of the debate, but for most American people, urgent issue is the bread and butter matter and no matter what the outcome of the debate will be, the supporter of each candidate will vote for their respective man anyway with the exception of the uncommitted voters that will not decide until the election day.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  146. Len in Clarkston,Washington

    I want to hear this:
    Senator McCain, The American People are getting quite disturbed that your running mate has been held at bay from the press. If she is qualified to talk to Heads of State, as your Campaign states she is, then why will she not hold a press conference and answer the questions that the American people demand of someone who could be President?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  147. Toni myrtle beach, SC

    I'll be watching McCain weasel his way out of al his contradicting opinions. I also want to see his McCain's famous foul temper and vile language rear up when he's pnned down.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  148. Jay-Mississippi

    I look for Obama to make McCain look like a cynical old man, who believes that he knows everything. Obama must win, win big, or he loses. He cant not have a gaffe, nor can he barely win. He must make people question McCain and in questioning McCain then they will also question Palin and her qualifications.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  149. Paul

    Jack, I will look for someone that shows true leadership. Someone with good ideas and plans to solve our many problems we have with our broken country. I will look to try to tell who will be the best person to trust with our next Four years. A Four years that will mean just how our country will be seen not only at home but by the world. Do we have that person as a candidate?
    Paul
    Texas

    September 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  150. Bruce St Paul MN

    I will be looking for McCain to show us some of that foreign policy expertise that the media has accused him of having. So far, I'm not really buying it. I know, I know. He was a POW. He was a fighter pilot. So I concede that he knows something about the Vietnam war. How about Iraq? Does he still think it was a good idea? Is there more to him than "the surge is working"? Does he think there is more to foreign policy than conducting wars? What is our role in the world? Do our corporate entities have any repsonsibility for their actions in other countries. Exxon is trying to get the U.S. govt to lean on Bolivia to drop a lawsuit for environmental cleanup. Good idea? What about engagement with our so-called adversaries? Is ignorance always the best way to solve differences?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  151. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I will be looking for Obama to give long,intelligent,thoughtful answers and McCain to say life begins at conception.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  152. Mike in Oakland

    I'll watch for John McCain struggling to read Joe Lieberman's lips so he knows the right answer to the question on what to do about this god-awful economic mess we're in, and how his 26 years in the Senate pushing for deregulation had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  153. L.M.,Arizona

    What each canididate policy is and how they will they achive that policy. Bush told americans exactly what he was going to do and they voted for him anyway. So Bush didn't fool anyone if americans pick a canididate they better know what he is going to do.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  154. Alex

    All I ever see the McCain campaign do is dodge the important issues and when he gets tired of that the lies start to come out about how Obama is trying to kill the middle class with taxes. Not to mention having Sara Palin hide throughout most of this campaign because the media has questions about her oh so many years as a governor of a state with a population less than most cities. I'm looking forward to seeing him have to answer the questions that everyone is asking instead of dodging and telling the public what they want to hear.

    Alex, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

    September 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  155. Marjorie Lominy

    Everytime McCain says " my friends" I will take a shot of Henny....I should be drunk by 9:15....I will catch with you guys the next day...hahaha!!!!!
    Jorie
    NY

    September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  156. Dave Youkers

    I'm looking for leadership and an end to partisian bickering.

    To the candidates and to the news media: For god's sake, I'm begging you, please stop! We have some serious problems and all I hear from the candidates and their advisors is childish fingerpointing promoted by a news media who is more interested in promoting conflict that in reporting reality.

    We need leadership and we have to work together to solve these problems, and now is not the time to engage in silly politics.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  157. Janice

    For consistent, strong, and steady leadership – and for answering questions without evasiveness or lies.

    I also expect every commentator asking questions to immediately call a candidate on any mis-information as it's said. If not – the debate will simply become a mis-information forum.

    It's time for truth to be the standard of what is fair. Not two sides for the sake of two sides – with one or both not being straightforward.

    Janice
    Aberdeen, SD

    September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  158. Karen, California

    It would be great if they debate each other straightforwardly with the facts...no exaggerations or talk that is geared towards a popular vote. Essentially...nothing that has to be fact checked. I think the media has done an outstanding job with their "fact checking." I don't remember "fact checking" in the past and it is a breath of fresh air to get through the "mumbo jumbo" politicians tend to do during election time to get votes. This would make my job as a voter a lot easier; it would be a dream come true!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  159. Patti Jurgensen

    I thought there was going to be more audit regulation, SEC regulation and governmental agency regulation after the collapse of Enron. What happened?? It appears Wall Street has become even more irresponsible. Many of our financial institiutions and brokerage firms are materially weak and the nature and magnitude of this weakness did not become transparent to shareholders until only recently. Where are the lessons learned from Enron applied on Wall Street today? How can we trust the Markets after this recent collapse? How can I encourage my children someday to be a part of Corporate America when Wall Street can't seem to learn its lessons? That is what I want the next President of the United States to explain to me!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  160. Keith - Halifax

    In the nicest possible way I'll look for Obama to wipe the floor with McCain.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  161. Bruce from Minnesota

    When I watch the debates, I will be looking for mud slinging, tap dancing, tighrope walking and finger pointing. I will also be looking for rhetoric, canned responses, feigned empathy, promises without substance, deception, denial and all of the answers to all of my problems explained in convenient thirty second sound bites.

    I hope I am disappointed.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  162. Jerry, Silver Spring, MD

    It looks like 99% of posters on your blog are looking for McCain to fail. Do they consider the possibility that they may be disappointed?

    Remember Democrats, you lost the last two elections even though you didn't expect that.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  163. BC

    I would like to see an "honest" debate. No telling of lies like they are doing right now. The voters need to know what the candidates really feel about things and what they will do for us, the middle class. I personally don't think that McCain knows what the middle class is. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I know service men who were in the Hanoi Hilton, but I don't see them trying to be president!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  164. Mark/ Greenville, NC

    I'm looking for one man to state what he believes, and the other to dance around, being careful not to take a stand or offend anyone, and then the American public to shake this spell Obama and the media have cast on them.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  165. james fl

    I will watch McCain ears, just in case he try to hide a receptor

    September 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  166. Trina

    I will be listening for a clear message from Obama and Mccain. I want to see who can take a punch; as well as who can give one. Who can stay calm and answer the questions; or who will let laughter cover up the moment trying to impose a diversion.

    Trina

    September 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  167. Syd, Wyoming

    What behemoth are we feeling the birth pangs of – a Socialist Republic , it makes my head spin.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  168. Brenda LaMarsh, Blenheim,Ont.

    As a Canadian I realize that the outcome of your election is almost as important to my country as the outcome of our own. I have carefully watched these two candidates for almost two years now and feel that Obama is the best choice, hands down. I would be considered to be from the evangelical right, but the truth is the Democrats have it right this time. What I would like to see in the debates is for Barak to avoid any attacks on McCain. He needs to come out of these debates with people knowing he is the man with the right policies, not the best one liners.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  169. Alexandra in urban Northeast

    I want to see John McCain speak answers that are true to his Republican Party platform instead of telling lies by speaking ideas that are directly from the Democratic Party platform in order to fake out Americans.

    I want to see Barack Obama be confident in using nuance in his answers. Nuance shows a lot of thought, intelligence, and a steady hand. I don't necessarily need to see clear and forceful; clear and forceful can also be wrong and stupid.

    Mostly what I want to see is the Democratic talking heads in the after-analysis call out the Republican talking heads on all the lies they will be telling about how well John McCain did. And I want them to reinforce that thoughtful intelligence and a steady hand is better for this country than flying off the handle with clear but wrong ideas.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  170. Cathy

    I will be watching Obama MOPPING THE FLOOR with John McCains condescending little smirk.

    The Cheshire Cat will have his little grin knocked right off his lopsided little face.

    Thank you for allowing me to rant.

    PS. PALIN is a JOKE. The WORLD is LAUGHING AT HER!!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  171. Will from San Jose, CA

    I'll watch both Obama and McCain give the same talking points answers to the same high level questions we've been hearing for a year. Neither will be pressed to get into specifics, or be challenged in any significant way.

    Then afterwards we'll get treated to pundits on both sides claiming their candidate was the clear winner.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  172. Mike, Lorain, Ohio

    I'll be looking for flip-flops, gaffes, distortions, the phrase "My Friends" and flashes of anger coming from the old dude with the bad comb-over.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  173. Mary in IA

    I will be looking forward to McCain's "Bush-like" simple 3 words answers, that are not solutions, but slogans or bumper stickers...you know, like...defeat the enemy, win the war, fix the economy. Can't you just picture him saying that while pounding his fist on the podium?

    Then I will look forward to McCain's lies...you know, like...I was against regulation before I was for it, I was against off-shore drilling before I was for it, I was against the Bush tax cuts before I was for it, I was against torture before I was for it, I was against the "change" slogan before I was for it. I could go on and on...there are just too many to list. McDouble-Talk is touring the country in the Flip Flop Express.

    My solution to the McCain/Palin ticket...thanks, but no thanks!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  174. Jim Bailey

    Like two gladiators on the sands...repeatedly Obama will turn to the crowd...set to inflict the killing blow...and beg the masses to let his out classed, incompetent opponet live.
    In the end the Mccain camp will forget the mercies shown and claim victory.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  175. Billy, NY

    How can you save us from ourselves Wonder Woman?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  176. Myrtle, Alabama

    I will be looking for Joe Lieberman to be standing behind the curtains
    with a mic in his ear, giving John McCain the answers, like the evangelists at healing revivals.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  177. Marie from Oregon

    Hi Jack,

    I will be watching to see which candidate has the right temperament, appears the most intelligent, and shows he is ready to lead this country out of the mess we are in right now.

    And it ain't a republican!! Go Obama!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  178. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I will be looking for Obama to give answers that you can tell are either 'yes' or 'no' instead of rambling explainations full of equivocating. "Above my paygrade" doesn't cut it.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  179. kathleen, san juan

    I'd like the moderator to play some of the propaganda tapes John Mccain made for the North Vietnamese. Ask how many he made. How long before he agreed to make them. Read the military code all soldiers swear to follow.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  180. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I'll will be watching the body language of John McCain, his fake outrage, and his nonsensical utterings about the economy. I will happily watch Obama speak of the issues with intelligence and grace, and only hope that I am able to understand what the hell McCain is talking about.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  181. Brian Golden

    The Obama/McCain debate?...B O R I N G!!! But Sarah Palin vs Joe Biden? I can hardly wait! What a train wreck that will be...I'm already laughing.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  182. Darlene, Georgia

    I will be looking for McCain to tell me what he can do for our country instead of what Obama "can't do".

    Am I the only one noticing that McCain no longer talks about his attributes for being President but only about Obama??????????

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  183. D King

    First thing I will look for is , who will protect us from foreign goverments as well as terrorist. Our economy will mean very little if we are no longer free. That should be foremost in every Free Americans mind at this time.
    Also, I would like to see the media have some restraint in badgering and twisting the words of both canadates. I realize the media believies the average American is not politically educated, but please allow us to come to our own conclusion!
    Thank you...

    September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  184. Jim Kahn from Portland, Oregon

    Jack...I look forward to watching McCain remind the Republican Party that they really did make a big mistake in the choice they made…kinda like what McCain is probably going thru right now realizing his choice/mistake for Vice President!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  185. Jamal, oakland CA

    I am expecting Obama to show confidence in non verbal way since blue collar workers an seniors are not interested on substance.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  186. Charles

    Okay – enough BS.

    Lou Dobbs for President
    Jack Cafferty for VP.

    Now, lets get America rolling again.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  187. susan from Idaho

    Common sense from Obama, and heaven knows what from Mccain.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  188. Steve in Caper WY

    Substance over sound bites. And will the news agencies actually give THOUGHTFUL and REASONED anaysis.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  189. Alaina

    Jack
    I'm a Barack Obama supporter and no matter what I'm voting for him in November...but I'd really like for Obama to get tough like he did the night of his acceptance speech. I still have chills...

    Alaina from Florida

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  190. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    I'll be looking for Obama to offer straightforward and concise statemens and for McCain to offer clear and well-rounded answers... But after that, I'll be keeping an eye on the audience, just in case Hillary sprints from the crowd and dramatically leaps in front of the camera claiming she's still a viable candidate.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  191. Leigh Recker, Ontario, Canada

    I will be looking for the communications device embedded in John McCain's ear

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  192. LaWanda from Orangeburg, SC writes

    I hope to hear about issues that really matter to Americans such as the unemployment rate, the housing crisis, high food, gas, and energy cost, and the increasing cost of education. We need to hear about real solutions to our current problems instead of bashing each other on a personal level.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  193. Donald, Canton, NC

    Are we going to be exposed to the same bland sound-bites based on misconceptions, out-right lies, and deception we keep hearing from the candidates???

    Or are they going to present realistic solutions to the problems confronting this country?

    I don't want to hear "My Friends" or " When I was a POW...." coming out of John McCain's mouth. I'm sicked and tired of it.

    I don't want to hear anymore of Obama's lofty comments without concrete proposals.

    Whoever is elected is going to be faced with the biggest damn mess created by Bush and his conspirators in the history of this country. They're fumbling to make it to Inauguration Day. Neither Obama or McCain is going to have the flexibility to do anything. Bush and the Republicans have seen to that.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  194. Bob

    Do the Republicans or John McCain ever come up with their own ideas or words, or do they just wait and use Obama's ideas and lines?

    Such as change, mainstreet, timetable for withdrawal.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  195. Ronald Holst San Antonio ,TX.

    Jack I hope The truth witch seems to be in very low supply .
    I would Like to hear them explane there past votes and If they have changed there minds Why . with out the policical spin on it.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  196. Mary from Dallas

    I'll be looking for the truth. What I expect to see is McCain changing the subject every time the questioning gets difficult and repeating over and over his worn anti-Obama talking points.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  197. Lori from New York

    Authentic and intelligent answers not just campaign talking points. I want to see that the candidates can think on their feet, not just give simplistic answers to complex problems.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  198. Cathy

    By the way, how much does a presidential candidate have to PAY world leaders to allow their running mate a 29 sec. photo op?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  199. Dave in Atlanta

    The Economy...The Economy.. and Oh Yeah, THE ECONOMY!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  200. roland thick

    I hope we all are looking for a President that doesnt lie to us everytime he opens his mouth. We also dont want a VP that has secrets! McCain's strategy seems to be-Go for and against everything, say yes and no. He flip flops all over the place and then says, Yeah I said I didnt agree with this last week BUT, look at my record, 2 years ago I said I did agree!LOL! We are the dummys who keep listening!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  201. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    If the Republicans have a time limit to answer the question and won't have to answer any difficult ones, oops that the VP debate. I hope you make an issue of the "rules" that are being set up for the VP debate to take things easy on Palin, poor lady, everybody is picking on her.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  202. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Intelligence and Diplomacy trumping Lies, Fear and Anger!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  203. Maureen / Newman, California

    I am looking for a President that consistently demonstrates integrity, intelligence, leadership, and a genuine understanding of the issues affecting mainstream America. I will look for real solutions to real problems. I will look for someone who welcomes diversity and someone who supports women’s rights. I am looking for someone who will work for Mainstream America, not against it. I am looking for truths, not lies.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  204. Amy from Queens

    something new. I can't bear this campaign anymore. how is it possible there are still so many people who haven't made up their minds yet. This is the campaign without end.

    (the choice shouldn't be so difficult: it's the past versus the future. a no brainer)

    September 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  205. Dave in Astoria

    I expect to hear the author of "The Manchurian Candidate" to ask for royalties for McCain's portrayal without permission.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  206. luvienne

    I want an honest debate. No upper hand given to Mccain. Candidates show your electable qualities. Moderators do your unbiased job.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  207. Heather Exum

    I already know I'm voting for Obama, what I will be watching for are the slip ups by McCain to show how two-faced, out of touch, senile and can't-imagine-a-worse-President-but-Palin comments. These provide me a slim sliver of hope that I might change someone's opinion of this once great man.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  208. Vera Thornton

    I'll be watching to see if McCain "blows." I think he's tired and stressed and on the verge of exploding. I can't wait!

    Baltimore, MD

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  209. Gregg Florida

    Jack: I will be looking at the responses from both candidates, as Palin talks to the world leaders on foriegn policy today for her crash course before her debate, McCain also plans to meet with these world leaders, meantime, Obama is in Florida today in a press conference, and tomorrow he has a rally, while getting ready for his 1st debate, seems to me Obama is more comfortable and ready for these debates, as only the Republicans are indeed meeting with these world leaders, Obama will prevail in these debates hands down, McCain is beginning to look panicky....

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  210. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    I'll be looking for McCain to explode when Obama accuses him of NOT putting country first by picking Palin as his VP.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  211. Pete

    I'll be looking for the hidden receiver under McCain's jacket and the "bug" in his ear. Remember the Bush debate?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  212. Michael - Las Vegas

    Howard M. in Bolingbrook, IL – I respectfully disagree, McCain-Palin would be a problem for the whole world.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  213. Linda, Ruther Glen, Va

    I need a bail out to watch TV

    September 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  214. Jonathan Hussein Norwood

    I will be looking for leaderships skills,honesty,morality,ethics,integrity, intelligence,knowledge of the subject matters,strength,passion and humanity.

    All of these characteristics I find important in a leader. I believe that the end result will be that Obama will display more of these characteristics than McCain.

    J Norwood
    Augusta GA

    September 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  215. eric

    I will be watching to see how long it takes before Sen. McCain reminds us that he was a POW for 5 1/2 years.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  216. MB

    I'll be looking for the best one-liners that a few hundred million will buy!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  217. corin

    Karzai to jump out from under Mccain's podium and tell america "YOU ALL HAVE BEEN PUNKED"

    corin
    washington,dc

    September 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  218. Anne/Seattle

    Will there be tough, pointed questions with straight, detailed answers? Will McCain suddenly seem intelligent, credible and presidential? Will Obama remain dignified while being tougher on McCain? I'm looking for a revealing engagement that may encourage voters to take off their blinders. After all this isn't a game show or a soap opera but rather a significant glimpse into America's future.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  219. Raymond Nopah, Gallup NM

    Not a candidate whose ideas and affiliation to the failed ideas of the past administration get beaten up on the headlines. When McCain said the economy was sound Wall Street tanked. When McCain said America is winning the war, military advisors advised for additional forces for Afganistan.

    McCain isn't the Midas Touch Man but the Grinch whose uttered words and ideas steals any prospects Americans are deserving of – good schools, sound financial systems and jobs.

    And certainly not anyone who's un-a-Palin(g), looks like he's a-Palin-g (peeling) and is himself a Paling (pale) like the ghost of ideas he espouses.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  220. Mary Johnson

    Hopefully, we will hear something meaningful re: foreign policy issues.
    1- IRAQ
    2- Afghanistan
    3- North Korea
    4- Israel/Palestinian stand-off
    Getting our nation engaged with the rest of the world and stop with the psychology of "bully" politics overseas. Tired of snap judgements.
    Want to hear something thoughtful; not jumping on the other guy for a gaffe. sigh... Mary from Sarasota, FL

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  221. Rudy NYC

    You betcha. These are job interviews. Too bad I cannot ask the questions. "Much of the world sees the US as Imperialistic Capitalists, while we call our actions exporting democracy. Is there a difference?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  222. shirley

    I will be counting the number of times McCain says the word "surge".

    Atlanta, Ga.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  223. Mike in Michigan

    I will be looking for the slightest sign that McCain is up way past his beadtime...

    "Goodnight John Boy"

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  224. Russ - Johnston, IA

    After the debate, I'll be looking for millions of US voters to wise-up, and realize that both Reps & Dems have gotten us into the situation we are in, they are really not much different, and it's time to vote for someone other than a donkey or an elephant.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  225. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    A few laughs. John McCain makes me laugh when he speaks.
    Obama will shine and beat McCain.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  226. jyll

    Since hurricane Ike roared through my small SE Texas community, the luxury of cable T.V. have gone with the wind....so I'm not to worried about some stupid debate right now......

    September 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  227. Pat, Pa.

    How many times John McSame tells us about his POW experience.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  228. Kay

    McCain to stay awake. Also, if his memory is standing up.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  229. Independent

    The McCain/Palin team is such a hilarious duo. I actually look forward every day for a new lie and am very dissappointed when they do not come up with a new one. And I check their facial expressions for a clue that they are not comfortable with their lies, but they're always unfazed. They have taken lies to a new level. So, I expect more lies from McCain. Senator Obama will be his usual self ... wise, rational, intelligent. He will not play the "McCain/Palin lie game" to fool the American people. That's just not his style. His character is to be respected.

    Focus on the issues!!!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  230. Neil K, Lake Forest CA

    I'll be watching for how many times John McCain reminds us that he was a POW, and how many times he says "my friends." Each of those will be followed by a shot of whiskey.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  231. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    We already know what kind of BS. we are going to hear. What i`m am more interested in is, what i`m not going to hear.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  232. Kelly, PA

    I want Obama to call this economic bail out robbery of the American people, fleecing of the flock, and downright bamboozlement! I can't believe this is happening and the American people are not enraged enough to boot the republicans out of office for a couple of decades since it will take about a century to truly recover from this debacle.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  233. Dustin

    I'm looking for these CNN followers that stay on these boards all day to end up with a big fat foot in the mouth, when McCain exposes Obama for the crook that he is.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  234. Bill (Newport Beach, CA)

    Jack,

    I will be looking for John McCain to try to spit out the words "Senator Obama will raise taxes on the middle class." I'm willing to bet a Bridge to Nowhere he doesn't have the nerve to blurt out that lie when he knows Obama will be right there to correct him, while pointing out that, unless you make over $ 200,000 a year, your taxes will go down under Obama. Of course, with the Republicans, $ 200,000 is considered the low end of the middle class.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  235. Ozzi, AZ

    I'll be looking to see McCain crumble without his teleprompter and rehearsed speeches made up of words that we've been hearing for so long that they've lost their meaning!
    I'll be looking at Obama who seems to be able to think on his feet!

    I wish McCain would just go away...I'm so tired of hearing his 'stuff'!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  236. Doris,Memphis,TN

    I will be watching to see who has to the judgement, temperament,
    and leadership skills necessary to become the 44th President of the
    United States of America in these difficult times.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  237. Dalton, NH

    I will be looking for McCain to talk about his POW experience over and over and over again. That's the only way he can get elected. It's funny though, that POW experience happened 35 years ago, and he had an affair with Cindy Lou 30 years ago. But when reporters ask him about his affair, he says "It was 30 years ago and it's in the past"–but he has NO problems talking about his POW experience which happened 35 years ago.

    John we see right through ya.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  238. don

    i'm looking forward to obooma say "uh" a thousand times for a two bit answer he'll give; with out "clarity"!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  239. ET

    Telling the truth, but maybe the medices should be standing by because its hard for a politicion to tell the truth.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  240. Paul

    Jack,
    I'd probably be clasified as lower middle class. I've worked 30 years at 40+ hours per week. Paid off my mortgage, cars and don't have credit cards. My question; What do I get from the $700 billion dollar bailout when the elevator hits bottom.
    WAIT. Never mind.
    I get the shaft.
    So much for living responsibly.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  241. Jasmine in Germany

    If abortion should be an issue, I'd like to count how many times McCain says "fetus" instead of "embryo".

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  242. Cyrus K.

    Conor in Chicago:

    You are my hero of the day.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  243. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    I'm looking at the thought and truth behind the answer as well as the answer being being directed 100% toward the question. NO one quick answer then on to another point that the candidate can handle more favorably. No BS. McCain most likely will steer all questions back to fear and National security because that's the rah-rah, chest pounding, patriotic, goose pimple popping patronizing that his followers heel to.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  244. Marleen Weflen

    I hope the Foreign Affairs debate does not become a rehash of McCain's military background – I respect his background, however, have heard it repeated too many times. How about Afganistan – and the mess that country is in since we didn't stay to finish the job and instead were 'sold a theory (lies)' about Iraq. And – how the USA economic mess will affect our future foreign policy. I'm hoping for thoughtful, truthful responses – not quips, promises and nasty comments.

    We can only hope.
    Marleen – Chandler, AZ

    September 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  245. Heather

    I'm expecting McCain to reverse position again, possibly twice during the debate. Obama will discuss in detail whether his 7 conditions for the bailout were met. McCain will try and act like those are his conditions too. Obama will still fail to bring up the Keating 5 for some unknown reason.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  246. Deborah

    Will someone tell John McCain he is not MY FRIEND.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  247. david

    Even though he is a Democrat, isn't Senator Obama part of the current administration?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  248. robert, ontario, canada

    Jack, I look for a debate with an honest exchange of opinions on the part of each candidate. I also hope that the moderator will be someone who will ask questions that need immediate attention on behalf of the American people. The worst scenario would be a debate that quickly gets bogged down in secondary issues moderated by some stuffy hack journalist trying to proof his or her superior, insightful grasp of world events. CNN is particularly bad for this type of debate whenever two or three "experts" take charge of the show by talking and shouting over each other. Strictly amateur. I switch the channel very quickly.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  249. Holly Boulais Pittsfield, Ma

    I will be looking for the candidate that comes off as the most in touch with the issues we hard working Americans face everyday -one house and one car (if wer'e lucky)...LOL John McCain!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  250. Manny - Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I always look forward to the post-debate "analysis" where you line up a Republican hack against a Democratic hack and they yell over each other about how their guy won the debate... that's the best part!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  251. Kate, Atlanta

    I'll be looking for Obama to give thoughtful, smart answers. AND, for the pundits to hate it and say he did poorly. McCain will give smartass, hotheaded, not well thought out at all, answers. And, the pundits will love it. Pundits don't like it when candidates speak as if the audience has a brain and can think for themselves. Pundits only like the joke, the one-liner, the one that treats the audience as if they are all down there in the gutter.

    But, I live in GA, and I'll be voting Friday morning. So, I'll watch, but I will have already decided.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  252. KCLaw

    I would love to hear Statesmen, not politicans, for a change.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  253. Lisa from Missouri

    For Obama to sit McCain down once and for all! They won't have a script to read from so McBush is in trouble.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  254. louise

    Confidence, something John MCFibber does not have, he is a hot head. I think Obama will do well.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  255. SDL

    McCain is to Rich!! Rich to understand the strugles of the middle and poor class od American's who are truly suffering. All he wasn't is to win ,make unkeeped promises and back to OLD business on keeping his GOP's pockets full!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  256. Brennan

    Jack i will be looking for who has the right policies, presidential look, and who represnts me and America best, and who can keep their cool under pressure. And i have a feeling its going to be Obama.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  257. ednadavid

    I will be looking to see how the republicans will try to justify all that they can accomplish in the next four years and defend their party's stand on all the catastrophic decisions they made in the past eight. It should be interesting!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  258. Chris Ocean Grove MA

    I would love to see Senator Obama make Senator McCain loose that "famous temper" of his then shoot down his chances of taking the country down the toilet, like he's Sonny Corleon at the toll booth

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  259. Sue from Ky.

    I look for McCain to belittle Obama like he tried with Bush.His campaign adds and stomp speeches leading up to the debate will show you their mind set.But I believe it will back fire on McCain when Obama laughs it off.

    Sue From Ky.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  260. Mike (Brooklyn, NY)

    I want to hear what the candidates intend to do to make the average American's life better, I spent my hard earned money on 7 years of higher education and like most of my friends, I work two jobs and have barely enough to make ends meet with no chance of ever owning a home anytime soon. I need someone who will fight for me and all of my friends, rather than spend time belittling the other person. Americans needs to wake up and see that our lives are affected day in and day out by people who do not lead lives remotely similar to ours. If you want to keep paying $4.50 a gallon for gas, have your home values plummet, watch the corporations go bankrupt and then have more of your hard earned money taken to facilitate there own greed, keep thinking how you do now, if not, open your mind and find out if any of these candidates is worth voting for.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  261. talbot, New York

    Something that sounds like the gears of somebody's brains turning–and not just to remember which prefab statement is appropriate for which topic/question. Some sense of historical–and accurate–perspective on where we are, how we got here, what went wrong, and how doing things differently could get us to a different place.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  262. Jeff from Michigan

    gaffes

    September 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  263. Cyrus K.

    Jack:

    McCain loves to say, "I know how to win wars". I would like the moderators to ask, "Sen. McCain, how many wars have you won during the last 70 years, excluding the battles in your personal lives and at senate?"

    September 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  264. Bob Field Toronto

    Some element of truth.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  265. Leah

    I am looking forward to McCain losing his temper and getting all the facts confused. I am also hoping that McCain doesn't talk about being a POW and if he says 'my friends' more than once I will throw something at the TV!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  266. Donna

    McCain without Palin. Intellegient answers beyond POW, the bridge to nowhere from McCain. No lipsitck on pig from Obama. I know McCain as a republican for 26 years made this mess with deregulation and flawed ideologies. I want to hear something new from each of them.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  267. Marguerite, NYC

    I'll be looking for calm and informed answers from Obama – and fear tactics and half-truths from McCain. Seriously, McCain is now trying to deny he was ever for deregulation and that his probable Treasury Secy should he get elected (heaven forbid) would be Phil Gramm. I know in the VP debates I'll be looking for Joe Biden to answer knowledgeably and as briefly as possible, but Palin will be giving the same stupid responses and memorized text answers she gave in the abc interview – I hope someone calls her on it cause the press seems to be playing right into her Cheney-like hand.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  268. Spindoc

    McCain can fly a jet, and he can survive enemy torture. Be he can't fly the American economy to a safe landing, and his short fuse,lies and economic ignorance won't survive the presidential debates.

    Spindoc, Toronto

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  269. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I've been a life-long political advocate. I knocked on doors for George McGovern in 1972. I've seen and heard enough to fill a book ... as of yet, unwritten.

    What will matter this time, is not what the consultants and advisers load the brains of the candidates. This time, what will matter is what I feel from their hearts.

    Jack,

    We're at the point where we need a good 'human' in the White House. I'll take my chances, if I get that.

    Rick Shultz

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  270. Erin Browne, Indianapolis

    I'm looking to see if McCain brings his ratings booster to the debate, and if the media shows that she is there. Outside of that, I want to hear how we are going to stay out of the worlds business and start spending that 10 billion a month from Iraq in our own country and repair ourselves before the rest of the world. The rest I already know – McCain: 9/11tm, Surge, Fear; Obama: Repair aliances, hope, rebuild image.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  271. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Que Cards for McCain to read his answers.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  272. pascal

    the debates will not affect my choice ...obama +biden =08 Mc +Palin=dissappointment=2000 to 2008

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  273. Carrie Louisville, KY

    Jack,

    During the debates, I will be looking to see who can stay on topic and not ramble onto some tangent that has nothing to do with National Security. I will also be counting how many times McBush references his POW status as credentials for being able to run the country. We all know what an admiral person McCain is, but, as condesending as he is to Obama and the American Public, how is that supposed to wash with the World. That snicker and creepy smile he gets when you know he doesn't have a clue as to what he will do next, is in my opinion, him showing his poker hand, and a mighty poor hand he has.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  274. Diana NJ

    Jack, what I really want to see is Cool, Kool thinking before opening the mouth... We have had 8 years of shooting off the hip.... with that cowboy talk..

    September 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  275. Jeff from Michigan

    a pair of earplugs. McCain whisles when he talks

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  276. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Jack, I will be looking for intelligence and thoroughness in response to the questions.

    I want to hear the candidates discuss their policy and differentiate their policies from the others.

    What I don’t want is to hear the smearing of the other candidates while offering no insight to what they believe.

    It is easy to be against something, but a lot harder to be for something.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  277. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I think we'll hear more lies from McCain (memorized talking points).

    Obama will give careful consideration before he answers.

    I'll take the Constitutional Scholar over the navy flunky any day. At least Obama thinks.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  278. keith

    McCain is crumbling with the economy in the tubes. I took, look for him to crack and have a tantrum on stage as Obama calmy walks the country through the next 8 years of US forgein policy.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  279. Jan in the 'live free or die' state

    Since this first debate is focusing on foreign policy, I am looking for an articulate discussion of the intense problems abroad; how each candidate will execute a plan to end each war and re-establish foreign relations with our allies, the UN and to set forth a sound policy for dealing with national security matters.

    I don't want to hear each candidate complain/whine about the other. That is counterproductive behavior.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  280. Carolyn

    I want to see if the moderator will press the candidates to answer the questions instead of letting them just talk around the questions with their standard stump messages.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  281. Alex from New Hyde Park, NY

    I will be looking to see if McCain looses his tamper, blows up and jumps on Obama. Now that would be NEWS!

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  282. Felix, Heber City, UT

    I want to see which John McCain shows up; the one who has opposed deregulation of any kind for 27 years or the one who took the politically expedient route starting five days ago. The one who bucked his own party and was a real maverick, or the one who has marched in lock step with the Republican SS since he locked up the nomination.

    Most of all, I want to see if the McCain who shows up is the honorable public servant who actually puts country first, or the self serving, pandering, spineless Bush-like candidate who has endorsed dishonest attack ads and smear campaigns that will sully his reputation forever.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  283. Doris,Memphis,TN

    I will be watching to see who has the judgement, temperament,
    and leadership skills necessary to perform as the 44th President
    of the United States of America in these perilous times.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  284. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    I will be looking for all of McCain's lies to be brought to light and for the country to hear what Obama's views and positions REALLY are, in his own words and in context.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  285. Jessica (Ft. Worth, TX)

    I'll be looking for not just how they feel about something and what they're going to do about it, but HOW they're going to get it accomplished. I've researched both candidate's economic plans and both are pretty embarassing. I'll be looking for Barack to actually tell the American people were he's going to get the billions and billions he'll be using for his plan. I'm looking for a little less talk and a lot more substance.

    September 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  286. perry jones

    jack i am looking for obama to stay home

    perry jones council bluffs iowa

    September 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  287. Arch Stanton

    I hope Obama keeps his word count low. He's a brilliant guy, and I like his thoughtful answers, personally (it'd be great to have a president who THINKS again), but I know it sometimes comes across as rambling and indecisive to some voters. So I hope he keeps his game tight. I have confidence in his knowledge and his coolness, I'm just hoping he can convey it with slightly less nuance than usual.

    As far as McCain goes, I'd just be happy if he had some new material. It seems that no matter what anybody asks him, he tries to drag out the same old stories he's used a million times on his stump speeches. I know he doesn't have any real answers, and I fully expect a lot of lies from him because, sadly, that appears to be his M.O. now, but I just hope I don't have to hear clumsy segues to old stump material yet again. It displays no real knowledge... but McCain's not really running on knowledge, is he?

    September 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  288. Matt

    Here's what I want: ANSWER THE EFFING QUESTION FOR ONCE!!!

    They can both drown in dog doo for all I care if their answer to "what will you do on such and such issue?" is "well, the other guy is naughty and bad because talking point misleading diatribe idiotic rant" or "baseless talking point no facts or evidence vagaries and distortions." It's getting OLD....almost as old as McCain haha

    That being said, I fully expect this to be the demise of the McCain campaign. They've spent the past two weeks saying stupid things and are now hiding Palin from the press while playing a smoke and mirrors game to boost the APPEARANCE of her having foreign relations experience. I foresee a lot of people eating their talking points about Obama's teleprompter. he's taking th edebate much more seriously, while McCain continues to think this is all a game that can be won with lies and manipulation of an uninformed public.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  289. david

    Is there some reason why politicians can't just talk like us normal folk and give straight answers without being scripted?
    The need for a script tells me that they either dont have a clue what they are saying or that they dont believe in what they are saying enough to remember it. When your wife asks you if you love her do you look around for a teleprompter to answer her?
    Stop treating the American people like idiots and give us straight answers.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  290. Jan in Los Angeles

    I want to see McCain nailed for his one word answers and asked for thoughtful explanations and not given a pass because he can throw out a bunch bluster and look I am so tough rhetoric that means nothing. I would like to see a real debate on the issues.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  291. R. Harrison, Griffin GA

    Jack

    I want to see Obama focus on the issues and to ask John McCain why is he doing and saying everything that "Obama does."

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  292. Jim

    I want to see if John McCain will continue to say just about anything in order to get elected. So much for the "maverick" I once respected. Now he's just a run -of -the -mill politiciian. Truth be Damned!!!

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  293. Val from NM

    McCain should be asked where Spain is again and if they are an adversary and who is the prime minister of Spain. Some expert.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  294. Troy

    Oxford, MS

    For John McCain to start acting like a traditional republican and actually do what republicans have done for many years.

    Mainly I'm looking for any reason to give one of these guys my vote. I don't see that happening however.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  295. PoliticoMike

    Jack,
    My friends and I will be making a game of this debate. We will be taking shots every time that McCain mentions he was a P.O.W.
    And when Obama says "Uh". Man, bad hangover coming up!
    Go Obama!

    September 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  296. Bob of Mass.

    I want to hear concrete, substantive answers to questions. Not just a bunch of catch phrases and sound bites. I want to know what they will do. And PLEASE don't give them the questions beforehand! Let them think on their feet so the real person might have a chance to shine through

    September 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  297. J Roman, Philadelphia, PA

    I will be looking for Senator Joe Lieberman to step forward and whisper in McCain's ear when he confuses the Sunnis with the Shiias.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  298. Carolyn Stadler

    Not watching the debates. When a person has their mind made up who they are voting for it is a waste of time listening to more of the same words over and over again

    September 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  299. Vi

    Jack: The truth from John McCain Also, why is he hiding Palin from the press, reporters and the media. If I hear Jphn say '"country first" one more time, I will change channels. If I hear his 'worn out' POW story again – I will throw up. He was not the only POW, but we don't hear anything from them. Obama – be concise and bring John down.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  300. Dave

    I will be looking for McCain to steal more ideas from Obama.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  301. michael

    what will he say if asked how can we trust his judgement on anything when the person he selected to fill his shoes ,Palin, won't answer any in depth questions from the pressShe has the chuptsa to ask to be vice president but won't answer any questions. Who does she think she is Dick Cheney. I must apologize as that unfairly critisizes Cheney who actually is not afraid to answer qustions

    September 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  302. kimberly in GA

    I love obama so much, i run to the tv, whenever he is on. I've already voted so the debates won't change anything for me. The republicans just raped america with their failed foreign and economic policies and i believe in accountability....so it's time to clean house and start fresh.

    September 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm |