Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Democratic City Comptroller Bill Thompson will go head-to-head tonight in their first debate, which will be hosted and televised by NY1.
Thompson, who has had his work cut out for him competing against Bloomberg's big bucks campaign efforts ($65 million so far!) will be expected to prove he's a man of the people. "If you look at the last eight years, there has been a focus on big developments and big developers and Wall Street and wealthy New Yorkers," Thompson told NY1. "I see New York being focused on middle class New Yorkers and working New Yorkers and poor families."
Meanwhile, the mayor-- who media strategist Howard Wolfson says he thinks "Would rather be doing other things" besides debating-- seems to have far fewer expectations placed on him.
The NY Times has advised Bloomberg to avoid "sighing audibly," which they say he tends to do when feeling attacked, and to not ramble on about statistics--another nasty little habit of his. Thompson, whom they called less "polished" than the mayor, should not revert to wagging his fingers or rolling his eyes when he feels threatened.
Flaws aside, the candidates are expected to tackle education, term limits and pension fund management in an hourlong debate that will include a fun-filled lightning round filled with zinger "yes/no" questions about their past drug use and visits to strip clubs.