***Click here for complete coverage of tonight's debate***
Tonight is the third and final presidential debate, and the stakes are highest for John McCain -- he's on track to finish off the season with three strikes. The Arizona Republican has been raising expectations for a fight. Before last Tuesday's debate he made a similar move, suggesting to a crowd that he would "take the gloves off." (He didn't, and by many accounts the debate was not only "boring" but another win for Obama.)
Tonight is McCain's last chance to close the widening gap between him and Senator Obama. By McCain's own predictions, it would seem that only a knockout win will do the trick. Read below for McCain's two major pronouncements: that he'll "'whip' Obama's "you-know-what" and that it's "probably ensured" he'll bring up William Ayers tonight.
John McCain predicted Sunday he would beat Barack Obama at the final presidential debate this week.
"After I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we're going to be going out 24/7," the Republican nominee told volunteers at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, sparking laughter and applause from the group. McCain immediately added: "I want to emphasize again, I respect Senator Obama. We will conduct a respectful race, and we will make sure that everybody else does, too."
In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama's comments that "I didn't have the guts" to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have "probably ensured" that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday's debate.
Katharine Zaleski Is the Senior News Editor for Huffington Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or here.