Every four years, a new U.S. presidential campaign elicits the usual political traditions, like smear ads, whistle-stop tours and daily sound bites. Meanwhile, everyone waits for the first televised candidates debate. Tonight's the night.
In America, the hype for this evening's debate between Republican candidate John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama has been building for weeks. Plans for the TV showdown hit a snag two days ago when McCain announced he was going to suspend his presidential campaign in light of the mounting U.S. banking crisis and requested the debate be postponed; Obama, naturally, issued the public declaration that the economic meltdown made carrying on with the debate more important than ever. Such is the world of American politics.
As of late yesterday, the debate was still on, with the threat of a McCain pullout only adding to the drama. Now, they are finally meeting, mano-a-mano, in a university lecture hall, while everyone watches on television. Can you stand the excitement?
Tonight, the best suits come out and the gloves, supposedly, come off. And the moment the candidates shake hands to end the debate, the U.S. news media will instantly seize upon every word and gesture, and declare a winner and a loser.