It’s been, what, like 45 minutes since the last Republican debate? You’re probably going through withdrawal. Hang in there, it’s almost over. At 8 p.m. tonight, CNN will air the eighth debate of the presidential primary season. Here are some things to watch for:
1. Western Topics: The debate is being called the “Western Republican Presidential Debate.” What makes it so western? It’s being held at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is co-sponsored by the Western Republican Leadership Conference, which the Venetian is also hosting this week. Consequently, a lot of westerners will be in the audience, and they’ll be given the opportunity to ask western questions, such as, “Do you support the war on tumbleweeds?” and, “Can you name every ingredient in a traditional western omelet?” Anderson Cooper, the very embodiment of the West, will be moderating.
2. Herman Cain: Now that the GOP electorate, in what we continue to believe is merely a well-coordinated prank, has decided to make a former CEO of the country’s eighth-largest pizza chain the race’s front-runner, expect Cain to take more even heat from his rivals over his signature 9-9-9 plan. This would actually not be a terrible thing for Cain, as he is completely uninformed on every other topic.
3. Uncomfortable Jokes: If midway through the debate you begin to notice a startling lack of cringe-inducing, poorly received jokes, it’s because Jon Huntsman isn’t there. See, New Hampshire is upset that Nevada moved up its primary, and Huntsman’s campaign is entirely dependent on a win in New Hampshire. So in an act of extreme brown-nosing, he’s boycotting the Nevada debate to demonstrate just how outraged he is on New Hampshire’s behalf. Huntsman will instead make his awkward jokes at a New Hampshire town hall.