Pop quiz: are you moderating a presidential debate this fall? (Hint: are you old, white, and male?) You may be wondering what you're supposed to ask about! Sure, you could just ask them to talk about their positions on various issues, politely step back as they lay out policy proposals and debate the merits of said proposals, but then everyone will get bored. Your job is to stir shit up and force them both into making gaffes! That is how we decide what to talk about when we talk about campaigns. So. Because we dislike John McCain, personally, we will now explain how best to cause him to say or do something stupid during a debate. But don't worry, Republicans: we have a trick to trip up Obama too! Foreign Policy This one's a gimme, because John McCain doesn't know a goddamn thing about the rest of the world except that he wants to bomb it. There was the "Iraq/Pakistan border" thing, which could maybe be explained by him saying Iraq instead of Afghanistan, and the Czechoslovakia thing, which is pretty much just explained by him being lol old, and mistaking Sunnis with Shiites constantly and also thinking al-Qaeda was training in Iran, which can really only be explained by not giving a shit about minor details like who we're "fighting" besides Muslims in general. But now that his confusion has spread to Western Europe, his handlers should be worried. "John McCain doesn't know where Spain is" is basically a gift to the Democrats. Of course McCain can and will play off any debate question about his gaffes with a condescending "of course I know [blank]" statement, followed by a carefully coached recitation of lessons his handlers drilled into him, which defuses the issue, but it's a clear sign that he'll be tripped up by a different lame gotcha question about world leaders or geography. Do people actually care when a candidate doesn't know "trivia"? Not really, but if he plays further into the "confused old man" routine it'll hurt him way more than idiocy did Bush. The Economy Ask him just about anything about the current Wall Street crisis. Wait for weird disjointed pseudo-Democrat talk about regulation. Followup with any serious statement John McCain has made on the economy during his 100 years as an anti-regulation Republican. Watch him forced to either sell out his Capitalist base or deliver some decidedly not-populist rhetoric. Torture Ask him, Andrew Sullivan style, if he believes the CIA should be allowed to use "interrogation techniques" similar and in some cases worse than the torture inflicted on him by the North Vietnamese. Offer to demonstrate! (Though, of course, 24 viewers definitely think the CIA should be allowed to torture, and McCain is maybe helped by any mention of his POW years, but still, this shit was indefensible.) His Commercials, Campaign, and Surrogates Just ask him if he "stands by" or can defend almost any number of questionable things his campaign has done. As we saw on The View, he will not apologize, but he will look pissed off as he half-heartedly defends shit he used to hate. Which is way worse than apologizing would be. Bonus: How to Trip Up Barack Obama Ask a serious question about a complex and important issue. Make it one that requires Obama to speak extemporaneously. He'll answer, as he thinks through it, with something pretty reasonable, but complex, and he will say "Uh," and then McCain will say "shut up, Brainiac! Babies are tiny angels, why do you want to kill them?" THE END.