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Debate Watching

McCain and Obama

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Friday nights are usually my time to put work behind me and unwind from the week. It's when I like heading to the movies, hanging out with friends, going out to a nice dinner. Listening to a debate about foreign policy isn't really my idea of chilling out, but that's just what I'll be doing tomorrow.

Even though I'll officially be off-duty as a reporter, there's no way I'd miss this one. It's the first debate in a truly unprecedented election. And now, with Senator McCain calling for it to be postponed and Senator Obama calling for the debate to go on as planned, the drama is at an all-time high. This could be some of the most dramatic Friday night TV in years!!

For my piece on debate watching, I interviewed University of Pennsylvania's Kathleen Hall Jamison who wrote a book called "Presidential Debates: the Challenge of Creating an Informed Electorate." Jamieson pointed out that there can be quite a difference between listening to the debate on the radio and watching it on TV. When you see candidate's facial expressions that can completely change how you interpret their words. And of course, on the radio, you can't see how the candidates are responding when the other guy is talking. (Sorry NPR!!)

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So, I'll be watching with some friends, and perhaps a bottle of wine (it IS Friday after all!) at my house tomorrow night. Will YOU be watching? Are you hosting a party? Do you have special debate night snacks you like to serve? Leave your comments, and we might use them on the air.

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