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It’s finally here… the NBC/Politico Republican debate! And that means we’re in for a double-header Hardball, live at 5 and 7 PM ET tonight! We’re live from the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. We’ll preview the debate—frontrunner Rick Perry’s first—with NBC’s David Gregory, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, and Fmr. Reagan Speechwriter Peggy Noonan

Next up: All eyes are on the GOP field, tonight, but tomorrow, President Obama takes the floor with his jobs speech. What can we expect him to say? And what happened to the spirit of hope and change that surrounded his 2008 candidacy? msnbc Sr. Political Analyst Mark Halperin and The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny are here to discuss.

 

How will Texas Gov. Rick Perry fare in tonight’s debate, his first one yet, and his first as the leading GOP candidate? Will the other candidates bring up his record in Texas, or the opinions outlined in his books? Dallas Morning News Sr. Political Writer Wayne Slater and “No Labels” Co-Founder and Daily Beast Contributor Mark McKinnon know Perry’s record well—and they’re on hand tonight. Then stay tuned for Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin on what to watch for in tonight’s showdown!

 

Then come back at 7 PM—we’ve got all the “red carpet” coverage from the Reagan Library, just one hour before the debate! We’ll talk to Steve Schmidt, who ran the McCain campaign in 2008, and ask him if Palin’s really getting into the race. Plus, Fmr. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei. Then stay tuned for the debate, and post-game coverage by msnbc’s Rachel Maddow! It’s a huge night…don’t miss it!

Coming up on Hardball...

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