It's now 2 hours till the debate starts, and the AP past-tense, the debate already happened story is already filed. check the timestamp below, which preceeds the first 3 grafs.....
"Last modified Thursday, September 30, 2004 2:10 PM PDT"
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- After a deluge of campaign speeches and hostile television ads, President Bush and challenger John Kerry got their chance to face each other directly Thursday night before an audience of tens of millions of voters in a high-stakes debate about terrorism, the Iraq war and the bloody aftermath.
The 90-minute encounter was particularly crucial for Kerry, trailing slightly in the polls and struggling for momentum less than five weeks before the election. The Democratic candidate faced the challenge of presenting himself as a credible commander in chief after a torrent of Republican criticism that he was prone to changing his positions.
Bush was expected to confront questions about leading the nation into war on the still-unproven premise that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He also has faced accusations that he lacked a strategy to deal with the violence and chaos that have left more than 1,000 Americans dead and that the Iraq war has diverted U.S. attention from al-Qaida and other terrorists.