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Inside Politics

A guide to the final presidential debate

Joe Klein's 'do's and don'ts' for the candidates

The third debate between Bush and Kerry will be held at Arizona State University's Gammage Auditorium.
America Votes 2004
George W. Bush
John F. Kerry
Joe Klein

(CNN) -- Do be respectful of your opponent, don't go off on tangents and absolutely no dodging the question. What are the key "do's and don'ts" for President Bush and Sen. John Kerry in Wednesday's final presidential debate?

Joe Klein, Time magazine political columnist and political contributor on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now Prime Time Politics," offers his tips before each debate. Use this list as a viewer's guide to the debate and see how the candidates stack up.

President Bush


  • Be more specific -- Kerry's beating you on the facts.
  • Be more presidential -- this anger is getting you nowhere
  • Keep challenging Kerry on his mushy responses
  • Don't:

  • Act as if nothing's wrong with the economy
  • Be angry, flippant or scornful
  • Try to change the topic back to foreign policy
  • Sen. John Kerry


  • Stay presidential
  • Keep those details coming
  • Keep him on the defensive
  • Don't:

  • Act as if nothing's right with the economy
  • Over-promise -- people know the government is broke.
  • Get cocky

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