John McCain and Barack Obama are preparing for the second presidential debate, which will take place on Tuesday in Nashville. The Washington Post reports that McCain is spending more time preparing for this debate than he did for the first, while the Obama camp is racheting up expectations of McCain.

“… McCain appears to be engaged in especially serious preparations for Tuesday’s debate, one of his last opportunities to change the trajectory of a race that may be slipping out of his control. He is certainly doing more formal preparation than he did before last month’s debate in Mississippi.

“Since leaving Washington on Thursday, McCain has kept a light schedule, his only public appearances being two town-hall-style events in Colorado — that will be the format of Tuesday’s debate in Nashville. On Saturday and Sunday, he held three formal practice sessions, with former Ohio congressman Rob Portman standing in for Obama.

“McCain has done so many of these over the years that it’s probably going to be the best kind of forum he is going to be in,” said his former campaign manager Terry Nelson. “It’s a great opportunity for him and the campaign.”

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