Marshall has a post up about "winning" the debates. It of course has almost nothing to do with what happens in the debate, and everything to do with the pre- and post- debate spin. The pre-debate spin involves providing the press with a particular narrative into which everything that happens can fit nicely, including how they supposedly "perform" relatively to expectations. And, the post debate spin involves picking things out from the debate which fit into that narrative - bonus points if it can be turned into a joke.
As for my pre-debate spin, which has the added benefit of being honest, is that what we're going to get from Bush is the exact same thing we've been getting from him throughout his presidency. We'll get "happy talk" on Iraq which contradicts reality. We'll get "tough talk" on unnamed terrrorists, despite the fact that Ashcroft hasn't managed to convict any. We'll get "happy talk" on Afghanistan, with Bush doing things like hilariously claiming that the "Taliban is no longer in existence." We'll probably get some shockingingly unpresidential behavior, including the inappropriate humor he so loves.
But, what we probably won't get is anything new. Same shit, different night, as Iraq continues to burn.