Tuesday night on "The Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert discussed the fact that the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) could change everything in the race for the White House...except that it probably won't change anything.
"I cannot overstate the importance of this debate," he said, "because the TV already has."
He then cut to clips of several media personalities predicting that the debates will be when the presidential race really heats up. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) appeared, saying "the entire narrative of the race is going to change," followed by half a dozen other news anchors saying the debate "could change everything."
"Yes," Colbert agreed, "the debates could change everything. The past two years of campaigning will mean jack squat! Total reset! Back to year zero of America."
The host painted a bleak picture of a new America where the citizens live in caves and "speak in hushed tones about when man tried to steal fire from the sky," ruled over by our new overlords, packs of super-intelligent feral cats.
"Oh, show us your mercy, whiskered ones!" he cried.
"Or Romney could get a two-point bump," he then said. "Either way, it's news."
He then pointed out each side's attempts in the last few days to lower expectations on their candidate. Obama aide David Plouffe said to David Gregory on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that Romney has had more preparation for this debate than any presidential candidate in U.S. history. The Romney camp put out a press release calling the president "one of the most talented political communicators in modern history."
"Yes, he's a once in a generation statesman whose rhetorical gifts touch the human soul," agreed Colbert. "When he speaks, sparrows of the wood alight on Barack's shoulders as they did upon St. Francis of Assisi. For he is no mere man, he is a silver-tongued angel whose words can cure the sick, soothe the troubled and be used as a flotation device in the event of a water landing."
Romney, however, has been practicing his so-called "zingers" since August, rhetorical pot-shots that he plans to take at the president.
"'Zingers!'" Colbert agreed. "Because America needs to know that their leader has a well-honed since of zing."
Watch the clip, embedded via Comedy Central, below: