1:08 p.m. E.T.
More previewing of mine about tonight’s debate from “Now With Alex Wagner” on MSNBC.
ALEX WAGNER: Let’s talk about the expectations game and start with Mitt Romney…. As far as making the case to an audience of live humans, a town hall format, does he need to show up in a hotdog suit tonight? What does he need to do to convince the audience that he does care about the 100%?
MARK HALPERIN: I think he— it’s really pure style. You know, we talk about, lament sometimes how these events are more about style than substance. But the Mitt Romney who showed up at the first debated, who has shown up more often than not at the rallies he’s done since the debate, is more accessible, more human, and, I think, harder to disqualify as someone who’s out of touch or odd than he was for most of the campaign. So, I think, if he shows up and is the kind of guy who I’ve seen him be at town meetings in Iowa and in New Hampshire, I think he’ll be fine and I don’t think he needs the kind of knockout, for his own purposes, that he had in the last debate.
ALEX WAGNER: You think he just needs to maintain from where he was and not necessarily build on the first debate performance?
MARK HALPERIN: Well, I think, in this format, given people’s expectations about who will do better, I think if he is himself, the good side, the new Mitt, I think that’s probably enough for his campaign given where they are right now. These town meetings, more than even the other debates, are about moments. The first two debates, the first presidential and the vice presidential, didn’t really have any individual moments that people have really seized on. Town meetings, historically, have produced moments and I think, if Governor Romney rises to the occasion, I think in some ways it would be a little bit easier for him in the sense that the President still hasn’t solved the problem of how he defines Romney in this and how he explains his future agenda in this. I think Governor Romney simply needs to keep up what he’s been doing most of the time since the debate.
Watch the video above.