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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the most highly anticipated events of the presidential election is happening tuesday night: the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Local political analysts weighed in on what to watch for at 8 p.m. The debate will be televised live from Cleveland, and on

“I think that is definitely going to be one for the history books,” said pastor and political analyst Keith Norman. 

Norman has been participating in politics and watching political campaigns for a long time, but he’s still eager to see what happens. He expects to see some personal attacks, and some political ones.

James Jones, an attorney and officer in the Shelby County Republican Party, said he hopes to hear some issues discussed.

“I’m sure they’re definitely going to be some personal jabs at one another. But I do hope that some of the issues are discussed,” Jones said.

Norman: “I think what you’re going to hear from candidate Trump is that he’s going to use a lot of negative language, Sleepy Joe, and all of those kinds of things to be insulting. What he does very effectively is nothing.”

Jones: “I think right now people are more interested in attacking the president personally than letting what has happened during his presidency speak.”

Both sides hope to frame the conversation to their advantage, discussing the economy, taxes, Middle East peace and the pandemic.

Norman: “Obviously, the coronavirus is going to be number one, the handling of the coronavirus. Joe is going to nail that over and over and over again.”

Jones: “I think that is ultimately the game plan for the opposition (is that) if we can distract, and if we can pull away from some of the accomplishments that he (Trump) has had, then they hope to take advantage of that and play off of those emotions.”

Emotion will be a factor. The debate stage can be a pressure cooker.

A lot can be said about how a candidate reacts, in a moment of crisis or criticism.

 “What candidate Biden, Vice President Biden has to do is keep from becoming frustrated. His tendency is to get frustrated and react or respond. And when he does, he doesn’t communicate as effectively,” Norman said.