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One Last Comment about the First Debate

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Almost everyone has already weighed in about the first McCain-Obama debate, and all eyes and ears are now focused on the Vice-presidential debate tomorrow night, pitting Joe Biden against an increasingly-buffeted Sarah Palin. But let's take one final glimpse back to that first debate, to find another instance of the déjà vu that keeps cropping up in political history.

On Monday, Steve Lombardo wrote on pollster.com that, "Obama talked to McCain (and the camera) and McCain talked to the Ole Miss audience. It made Obama seem more natural while McCain came across as a bit awkward."

The déjà vu?

On November 9, 1993, then Vice-president Al Gore debated Ross Perot about NAFTA, the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement, on the Larry King show. In what was to become the highest-rated program on cable and remain so for 13 years (until Monday Night Football shifted from ABC to cable) Gore beat Perot, and NAFTA went on to passage in Congress.

During the debate, Gore talked to Larry King and Perot talked to the audience. It made Gore seem more natural, while Perot came across a bit awkward.

What will Sarah Palin and Joe Biden do tomorrow night? Will they speak to the moderator, Gwen Ifill or to the audience?