This weekend a friend pegged me down on the three things I think each horse must do to win the debate Tuesday night. What do you think are the keys to either an Obama debate comeback or second big win for Romney?


1. Deliver passion without losing control (see Biden, Joe).
The President needs to go from a 2 to an 8 on the energy scale. Biden clocked 17.

2. Get his story straight on Libya.
The issue isn’t going away and he’s got to show the buck stops with him.

3. Convince Americans he wants the job.
There is a growing perception that he’s disinterested in the process. If he can’t fight for the job, Americans will fire him.


1. Stay humble.
Expectations are sky high after his historic drubbing of the president. He must approach this debate as if they’ve never debated before and avoid overconfidence.

2. Lay out details.
Romney has been hammered that his campaign has been light on specifics, long on promises. He needs to fill in gaps in his plans before Obama does during the 90-minute brawl.

3. Have a moment.
Romney needs a public moment like the kind many people say he’s had in private as a church and business leader. He needs an exchange at the townhall-style debate when he looks in someone’s eyes and doesn’t just say he feels their pain, he shows it. He needs a connection that makes viewers wish they were in the audience.