Obama adviser David Axelrod says they expect a tough fight:
“I fully expect her to be ready for this debate, and I think there will be a great deal of interest in this. I think it will be a well-watched debate, so it’s going to be important… She’s very skilled and she’ll be well-prepared. I know she’s preparing this weekend. As you saw at the convention, she can be very good, so I think it would be foolish to assume that this going isn’t going to be a really challenging debate. We’re preparing for that, on that assumption.”
Biden’s spokesman tried to raise expectations even more, calling Palin “a leviathan of forensics.”
McCain strategist Nancy Pfotenhauer helped, saying that while Palin would win on “wits,” moderator Gwen Ifill shouldn’t ask her “trapdoor questions” or too much about foreign policy.
Palin herself, meanwhile, isn’t acting worried, the Washington Post reports:
“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’ve never met him,” she said at a rally here. “I’ve been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, the second grade.”
She noted that Biden seems pretty confident about winning the debate.
“Then again,” she said, “this is the same Sen. Biden who said the other day that the University of Delaware would trounce the Ohio State Buckeyes.”
SEPT 28: CNN reports that Sarah Palin will go to McCain’s home near Sedona, Arizona for “debate camp” until Thursday night. An aide said McCain thought it would be an “invigorating and enjoyable place to prepare for Thursday.” Palin spent the past four days preparing in a Philadelphia hotel.
The AP explains that Biden and Palin will be questioned by Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent on PBS’ “The NewsHour” and moderator of “Washington Week.” Each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a question, followed by a two-minute discussion.