In a recent poll almost 85% of likely voters said they wanted the candidates to hold a debate on science. Why? Because, more than anything else, our kids' future health and happiness depend on it. And yet, in spite of the many critical issues involved, I'm willing to bet little in the debates will touch on it.
As we watch the debate tonight, we can be sure that both candidates have rehearsed prepared lines that they will speak regardless of the questions they are asked. But there will be two actors on the stage and the debate will be to some extent an improvisation where even the best prepared line can prove disastrous.
On the eve of the first presidential debate, the focus shouldn't be on who is going to "win," but on whether we are finally going to get a serious debate on jobs and the economy. But I don't expect much, especially given reports the Romney team believes that "debates are about creating moments" and thus "equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized." Now, a well-placed debate zinger certainly has its place -- but how much more of a "moment" would be created if either candidate instead unleashed a series of proposals to put the twenty million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed back to work? In fact, the pipeline is full of legislative proposals that would help put Americans back to work. But time is running out. If that debate doesn't happen, then the loser of all three debates will be the American people.