Here we go again. Since we last saw our contenders on stage, the vice presidential candidates have debated one another, the bailout plan was signed into law by President Bush, and the mud has started to sling.

The last time McCain and Obama took to the stage, they did the dance of “yes you did, no I didn’t” on every topic from funding the defense budget and supporting the surge to encouraging alternative energy growth. It was lacking in depth and put the world to sleep.

Tonight’s format will be in a town hall setting and will be open to all topics. McCain does well in this format, so it will be interesting to see how he does tonight with Obama beside him.

Will the debate tonight answer any of the questions Americans want answered? How about abandoning the discussion of past legislative votes and get to the economy, health care, and education? Will Obama raise issue with the attacks Palin has issued this week toward Obama’s previous relationship with William Ayers? Will McCain ignore, as Palin did, the questions asked of him, and spend his time winking, using folksy speak, and referring to his ticket as the “maverick” team?

Gotta say, it will be good to see veteran journalist Tom Brokaw moderating the event. Don’t forget to use your Mother Jones Bingo card to get you through the night.

Presidential Debate — October 7, 2008, Tuesday

Time: 9:00 EDT

Second presidential debate: all topics in town meeting format

Moderated by Tom Brokaw

@ Belmont University, Nashville, TN

-Two-minute answers, followed by one-minute discussion for each question.

For those of you who missed them, CBS and are offering a podcast of the previous presidential and vice presidential debates. Download and listen at your leisure. and CBS and CBS

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