There's no question about it: debate fever is starting to spread through the media.
With both President Obama and Mitt Romney largely hunkered down preparing for Wednesday's one-on-one forum in Denver, the press is filling up with the usual quadrennial speculation, anonymously sourced gossip and advice.
Friday brought a New York Times piece going inside the practice rooms. Romney has been working on his zingers, writers Peter Baker and Ashley Parker reported. Monday brought a Politico piece about Obama which, like the Times article, mentioned his "you're likable enough" crack at Hillary Clinton and featured advisers talking about his tendency to give lengthy answers.
The Sunday shows were also full of debate discussion, much of which centered on what Romney and Obama "have to do." CBS put up a "Face The Nation" video with the headline, "Experts agree, Romney has to debate well."On his show, Chris Matthews told Romney to "get likeable."
It's also not debate season without callbacks to historic highlights. Sunday's "Melissa Harris-Perry" and "This Week" both brought up Ronald Reagan's "age and inexperience" zinger to Walter Mondale and Lloyd Bentsen's "you're no Jack Kennedy" line to Dan Quayle (though Harris-Perry had her daughter recite the line). Al Gore's infamous sighs in 2000 were darkly mentioned.
The pre-gaming is set to continue all the way through Wednesday, when it will be replaced by the equally fevered post-game analysis.
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