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Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert join forces for the other big debate

Comedy Central

Jon Stewart teams up with network pal Stephen Colbert for intense debate training on "The Daily Show."

Jon Stewart is set to debate Fox News host Bill O’Reilly at George Washington University this weekend, which presents him with a problem: Debate prep. Mitt Romney had Rob Portman. Barack Obama had John Kerry. Who could Stewart have to play the role of O’Reilly in his debate prep?

“Who could possibly stand in for a man like the Papa Bear (O’Reilly), a right-wing traditionalist who isn’t afraid to speak his mind? An American who loves his country even more than he loves himself -- and he really loves himself quite a bit?”

Indeed. If only Stewart knew someone who played the role of a right-wing talk-show host. Maybe one with a show on Stewart’s same network. Perhaps one with something to promote.

You guessed it. Stephen Colbert. After all, when you have a book to push  (“America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't”), you have to take any gig you get offered.

Some of Colbert's advice:

  • “Remember the Debate A-B-Cs -- always be attacking!”
  • “Never admit that your opponent is right even -- especially -- if he is.”
  • “Never, never let someone interrupt you.”

Stewart’s guest, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, did not offer advice of his own. But he offered an opinion on the first presidential debate, which took place after the show taped but before it aired.

“You know, I can look in the future, and I can tell you who won the debate. And I’m very objective about this. Romney won it,” Paul said.

Paul has a new book of his own to promote: “Government Bullies.”

“The message is that there is unintended consequences for well-meaning people,” Paul said. “Rules have gone too far. The economy is suffering under regulations.”

Check out the sales of the Colbert and Paul tomes to see if Stewart has the same effect on book sales as Oprah Winfrey.

On his own show, "The Colbert Report," Colbert spent some time on George Will’s column, in which Will likened the presidential race to baseball. Will cited the Cleveland Indians hiring of Frank Robinson as manager in the 1970s as a big step for the country, as he became the first African-American to manage a baseball team. He then also lauded the Indians for firing Robinson when the team underperformed.

“I have long appreciated the great reservoir of racial sensitivity that is the Cleveland Indians,” Colbert said. Then he flashed the team’s Chief Wahoo mascot, which rivals the Washington Redskins as far less-than-sensitive names and logos are concerned.

Wonder how that will affect book sales among baseball fans in Ohio.


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