We're still unclear as to whether we're on for a debate tonight.
(Update: 3:01 PM - we're ready to rumble)
The debate, hosted at the University of Mississippi, will focus on foreign policy. It's slated to begin at 9 EST. The four broadcast networks, NPR and C-SPAN are all planning to carry it.
While we can expect the candidates to segueway to discuss domestic politics, particularly the financial crisis, there are still some really important issues to discuss regarding foreign policy. They include:
(1) The war on terrorism - first and foremost. Terrorism is still the biggest foreign threat to the US despite everything else that has happened.
(2) Iran - the mullahs are pushing forward on nuclear power. Iran is a terrorism supporting state according to the US State Department (a designation that both Republican and Democratic administrations have made). A nuclear Iran is definitely a major concern from the standpoint of non-proliferation.
(3) Non-proliferation - it used to be that nation state cooperation was necessary to develop weapons of mass destruction. Today, that's not the case. The next administration needs a new approach for a new problem.
(4) Russia - Russia recently invaded and trashed the independent Republic of Georgia over an ostensible border dispute. The real purpose was to send the message to the US that Russia is still a world power to be reckoned with.
Hopefully, those doing the questioning will hold the candidates' feet to the fire on these issues.