Democratic Debate Tonight on CNN @ 8pm ET

The final, and possibly most confrontational, Democratic debate will take place tonight, Thursday, January 31, 2008 on CNN at 8pm eastern, 5pm pacific.

Here’s a story on it from USAToday:

It’s fitting that tonight’s Democratic presidential debate will be held at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars and one of Hollywood’s most hallowed monuments to the stars.

Star power rocks on the campaign trail these days, with an unprecedented number of actors, entertainers and sports figures stumping for candidates

And it’s not only the phalanx of celebrities attempting to influence the primary races; it’s also what they’re doing. In years past, most stars have been content to endorse and bankroll candidates and make high-profile appearances. But this year, with the race still open and 22 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday next week, celebrities have been working in key states earlier, in greater numbers and more extensively than ever.

It will be 90 minutes and feature, of course, just Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one match as we move into Super Tuesday, Feb. 5th.

Later today I’ll have some preview video and more coverage later tonight along with a live chat.

Update

Here’s a short video preview:

We’ll have a live chat starting around 8pm eastern followed by video clips and analysis. Of course, concluding with the entire debate video later tonight.

Update @ 5:36pm ET

Another report from CNN:

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will duel for Super Tuesday votes Thursday night as the Democratic presidential hopefuls face off for the first time together minus former Sen. John Edwards.

The debate — sponsored by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Politico — starts at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN and CNN.com. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is the moderator.

The event is the first Democratic debate since Obama’s convincing victory Saturday in South Carolina. On Tuesday, Clinton won the Florida primary, a contest her campaign said helped the senator regain momentum even though it awarded no delegates.

The forum at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood comes hours after the Obama campaign revealed it had raised $32 million in January from roughly 170,000 new donors. That amount will allow Obama to expand his television ad buys greatly in the 20-plus states holding primaries or caucuses Tuesday. Watch a time-lapse construction of the debate set

The Clinton campaign would not indicate how much money it had raised in the same time period.

There has been a lot of heated rhetoric between Clinton and Obama over the past week. I think a lot of it is building and we may see some real fireworks tonight. If Obama is smart, he’ll be able to make her look divisive over the issues of race and gender. If he can basically embarrass her over the statements her husband has made, he will look like the better candidate, as if he’s above the fray of divisive politics. If I’m Obama, I would be trying to bait Hillary into going over the line and coming off as mean-spirited such as the “slum lord” comment at the Jan 21. CNN Democratic debate.

I think Hillary has to try and catch Obama’s lack of experience on some issues and perhaps hold it up for inspection. I’m not sure what else she can do other than perhaps try and paint Obama as the divisive one. I don’t see how that can stick really because her husband has made all the news over his controversial statements. If she could pin Obama down on some of the specific details of the plans and policies he’s offered up in the past couple months, he may not have very good answers for them.

Should be a good show tonight starting at 8pm eastern, 5pm pacific on CNN.

Update

Join the live debate chat here