The usual suspects descended on the Sunday talk shows today with their eyes firmly fixated on Wednesday's presidential debate, when President Obama and Mitt Romney go mano a mano for the first time. Chris Christie, appearing on no fewer than three shows, minced no words in building up expectations for Romney, saying the debate would create a "barn burner:" “This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning,” he said, adding that even "folks like Charles Krauthammer will be happy." Paul Ryan was more measured, notes Politico, saying, "I don't think one event is going to make or break this campaign." Elsewhere on the great debate debate on your Sunday dial, as per Politico:
- More from Ryan: The debate will highlight "who is Mitt Romney, what kind of president will he be, and what choice do I have. Then the country understands the choice they have to make."
- David Plouffe on Romney: “He’s prepared more than any candidate, certainly in recent memory. So we believe Gov. Romney. He’s been a good debater in the past. He’s got all these clever zingers and lines in his pocket, so we understand he’ll probably have a good night on Wednesday night.”
- Plouffe on Christie's 'barn burner' prediction: "They've set it—they expect to come out of this with the race changed. They've set the bar high."
- Ryan on his own debate: Joe Biden is "fast on the cuff. He's a witty guy. He knows who he is and he's been doing this for 40 years. So you're not going to rattle Joe Biden."
- John McCain: "Sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, but that doesn't happen very often." But Romney's only "behind because Americans probably feel better than they did" in a "glimmer of hope."
- Nevertheless, people will watch: "I think you're going to see more viewers at this first debate than you have in history," McCain added.