I hate to offer Dick Cheney a simple way to win tonight’s debate. He already has secured the key advantage of making Edwards sit down. If I were Edwards, I would just stand up and walk around and work the room anyway. What can they do to him?
In many ways, I am more nervous about Edwards tonight than I was about Kerry. Edwards was the king of the stump during the primaries, but was far less impressive in the debates. That being said, he did manage to improve as time went on. How much he has improved since the primary will be telling, both in terms of measuring him against Cheney and in terms of measuring his growth along this fast track towards national leadership.
So how does Cheney disarm the more charming man (without going into Darth Vader mode and scaring the crap out of a primetime audience)? Simple.
Open the debate by saying that the President has just announced that he is re-opening the mill that closed, thus throwing Edwards dad and neighbors out of work. Not only is the same mill being re-opened, the contract to rebuild the infrastructure has been given to Halliburton.