V.P. candidates prepping for Thursday's debate

Thursday night's debate at Washington University in St. Louis is scheduled to center on domestic and foreign policy, but other topics could be addressed as well. ABC 7 political reporter Andy Shaw has a preview.

The excitement that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin brought to the Republican ticket in the early days after John McCain stunned the political world by making her his running mate has given way to serious doubts about whether she is up for the job, after shaky performances in network interviews prompted withering satire on the comedy shows.

Palin is actually an experienced debater who did well in her Alaska confrontations. So now, as Palin gets ready for Thursday night's debate, one local Gop consultant is hoping the McCain campaign's not trying to over-prep her.

"Sarah Palin has to come across as likable and knowledgeable," said Christine Dudley, Republican consultant. "I hope they're not over-prepping. But let Sarah be Sarah."

The challenge for Barack Obama's running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden., has nothing to do with the size of his resume or the breadth of his experience. He is prone to exaggeration and verbosity. So, Biden has a different challenge Thursday night, according to Democratic consultant Don Rose.

"The issue is that he doesn't look as if he's harassing her," said Rose.

Vice presidential debates rarely influence the outcome of presidential elections. So unless Biden's way over the top or Palin has a total meltdown, their confrontation should be more entertaining than pivotal, but considering the controversy and the interest she's generated in the last five weeks the viewership for this one should be through the roof.

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