Foreign Policy Debate Will Touch on Economy

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Even though tonight's debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is supposed to focus on foreign policy, you shouldn't be surprised to hear some discussion of the economy.

Moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS is indicating that he won't be constrained by the boundaries negotiated by the two campaigns months ago, considering the crisis facing the financial system.

It wasn't clear until late this morning that the debate in Oxford, Mississippi, would take place. McCain had earlier said he'd skip the debate unless there were an agreement on a financial system bailout.

As is usually done before these events, each campaign is setting a low bar for its own candidate while inflating expectations for his opponent.

An Obama spokesman sent an e-mail to reporters quoting news stories that indicated McCain is the stronger debater, especially on foreign policy.

McCain this week praised Obama's debate skills, suggesting that his debates against Hillary Rodham Clinton had helped him win the Democratic nomination.

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