Tonight is the second presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, and it represents what could be a knock-out punch for the Democrats. That is, if you're still convinced the election isn't over. (Hint: It is.) If the current polls are any indication, McCain's only chance of winning this election are if Obama walks onto stage tonight wearing an Arab headdress and an Irani lapel pin, and after giving a shout-out to Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers, tells the television audience that Sarah Palin is a trollop.
Here's a quick rundown of what to expect tonight:
Slate: Beware of Ponytail guy: how town-hall debates can go very wrong for a candidate
Politico: How McCain could pull this one off
Salon: Is this the time for character assassination?
TNR: McCain's Catch-22
Roll call: Looking for a place to watch the debate? Here's a list of bars and lounges airing the action.
Roll out: The editorial board at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer endorsed Obama today, not to anyone's surprise. The Spokesman Review, meanwhile, rolled out its recommendation of McCain for president (log-in required). Their endorsement comes a week after cutting 25 newsroom jobs and receiving resignation letters from two of the paper's top editors.
Roll over: In what must have been a rough day for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, a King County Superior Court judge approved a request to begin taking depositions for the "Buildergate" lawsuit on Oct. 15, less than a month away from election day. ...
What he said: The editorial board at the News Tribune is urging voters to say "no" to Initiative 985, the Tim Eyman-sponsored "traffic congestion relief" measure. Yesterday, the op-ed board at The Seattle Times said the same thing.
What sidewalk? The Seattle City Council passed a measure Monday that will make it easier for the Seattle's cafés and restaurants to add outdoor seating on sidewalks. And in what amounts to a journalistic jab at some of the measure's opponents in the blind community, Times reporter Sharon Pian Chan quotes a source who says sidewalk cafés really "put eyes on the street." ...
What market? The editorial board at The Seattle Times says voters should approve the $73 million upgrade to Pike Place Market and reject the "hastily thatched" levy that would put $145 million into the city's parks.
Wahoo: Thanks to this historic election season, Washington state currently has more registered voters than at any time in its history. After pointing out that the number of voters is likely to grow before Nov. 4, News Tribune reporter Joe Turner realizes the registration boom's repercussions on statewide initiative sponsors. He writes: You know what this means, dontcha? If we have a really big turnout, professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman will have to collect more signatures to validate his next ballot measure.
The number of signatures required for initiatives and refereda is based on how many people vote for governor in the general election every four years. Right now, it's 224,880 for initiatives and half that number for referenda. It's 8 percent and 4 percent of number of people who vote in governor's race. Did anyone else sense that Turner took pleasure in thinking Eyman's job could be more difficult?