WASHINGTON (AP) - For presidential candidates, the debates that start next Wednesday carry the risk of creating a memorable moment they'd rather forget.
Campaigns watch for awkward words or an embarrassing image that can become shorthand for the other guy's flaws. This year's three debates are unscripted, live events expected to draw tens of millions of viewers. So they're a perfect incubator for a moment that could newly define President Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney.
Tad Devine was an adviser to Al Gore's presidential campaign and remembers how Republicans capitalized on Gore's sighs during one debate. Devine says defining moments are cemented in voters' minds by replays on TV and the Internet and maybe even a "Saturday Night Live" skit.
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House Republicans on Tuesday make their most concerted effort of the year to change federal abortion law with legislation that would ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks.