On Wed. Oct 3 the world will witness for the first time President Barack Obama and the man who wants his job Gov. Mitt Romney debate the issues before millions of viewers here at home and around the world.

Expectation is building for this historic face-to-face intellectual and policy debate between the Democratic nominee Obama and the Republican nominee Romney.

This is an important event for everyone who cares about the future of the country. Because it is an opportunity to hear two different men lay out two different visions for one country they profess to love.

For those who are keenly covering the Obama presidency, and others who understand the history of presidential debates, there be will a lot of surprises. Because Obama is not only a gifted speaker as his Republican rivals are agreeing now to downplay any potential Romney stumble, but he has been tested on the national stage numerous time unlike Romney.

For voters, there will also be a lot of surprises because only one candidate will emerge Wednesday night as unprepared and unfit to command.

When Obama and Romney face each other voters will see a contrast between their intellectual and policy depth as it relates to running the country. And that is important because voters need to know who among these two men will pick up the 3AM phone call as was largely debated during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Who among these two men can address the structural economic and social problems we continue to face?

Thus it’s important to hear from the candidates themselves without any filters about their plans to address the economic crisis among other important issues.

At this debate we don’t expect the candidates to write the answers on the palm of their hands as Sarah Palin did in 2008 trying to second guess the debate moderator.

These are two men who have held executive offices and they bring different unique experiences. Obama has been president for the last four years.

Romney was governor of Massachusetts for one term.

So the executive experience of these two men will come to bear on the debate showing us how they will govern the nation.

Michigan has played a significant role in this presidential election including the national spotlight the state has been thrusted into.

The auto industry and President Obama’s role in rejuvenating the industry has catapulted Michigan to a crucial swing state. Plus no Democrat in decades has won the White House without winning Michigan.

So we in Michigan have a stake in the debate, and Detroit in particular which has been home to the auto industry, and struggling with high levels of unemployment.

Because of the unique position Detroit is in as a major urban center and the stakes for this election on Wednesday evening, I’ll be hosting the Detroit Presidential Debate Watch Live at the Detroit Seafood Market 1435 Randolph St. in downtown Detroit. The high point of this Presidential Debate Watch from 9-10:30pm will be a special pre-debate panel starting at 8pm.

The panel members are Charlie Langton host of “The Charlie Langton Show” on WXYT-CBS and Legal Analyst for Fox 2 WJBK-Detroit, Jason Smith, Political Reporter for The Grio.Com/MSNBC, Rochelle Riley, Columnist for the Detroit Free Press and Henry Payne, Editor of the MichiganView and Editorial Cartoonist for the Detroit News.

Whether you are watching the debate in your home or at the Detroit Seafood Market, pay attention to how the candidates specifically address the issues that matter to you.

Don’t write off Wednesday night as another political event for Obama and Romney. It is important that you hear from them about how they will tackle issues that you are grappling with.

Your future lies in that debate.

The life and death issues we grapple with hang in the balance in this debate.

It is not just another political forum. It is about you, and you should demonstrate that with your vote.

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