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Opening Arguments

It's debatable

Barack Obama is a great speaker but is said to be a spotty debater, and foreign policy is supposed to be John McCain's strong suit. So this just seems dumb:

John McCain had just made one of the riskiest, and perhaps costliest, moves of his presidential campaign, in attempting to bail out of the first televised debate of the candidates so that he could return to Washington, rise "above politics'' and concentrate on the federal bail-out of the nation's bad mortgage debt underway.

I do think people are so caught up in the current financial turmoil that few will pay attention to a foreign policy debate, so a better idea would be to change the focus of the debate to economic policy. That would not only give us a more complete view of the candidates' fiscal-policy ideas; it would also give us a chance to see how they do when they suddenly have to shift gears, giving us an idea of how flexible a chief executive each would be.