Newt Gingrich has often expressed his desire, were he to win the Republican nomination, to debate President Obama in seven three-hour "Lincoln-Douglas style debates." These area not likely to happen, for several reasons. But Gingrich has convinced Herman Cain to debate him next month in a "modified Lincoln–Douglas debate," the modification being, what... that they both argue the pro-slavery position? Hmm.

The Texas Tea Party Patriots will host, and unappealing Iowa Rep. Steve King will moderate. Details are still hazy, but it looks like the modifications will allow for more back-and-forth, since the format of the Lincoln-Douglas debates involved each person speaking for an hour or so at a time. From National Review:

In background conversations, both campaigns say they look forward to the discussion. A source close to Gingrich tells NRO that the former speaker will speak at length about his policy proposals and will, "in a friendly way," illustrate his differences with Cain.

"We initially wanted a forum with all of the candidates," O'Sullivan says. "But when we heard Gingrich say he wanted a more serious debate, like the Lincoln–Douglas debates, we wanted to do that, especially since watching the recent superficial debates has been frustrating."

Not sure that agreeing to this was the best move for Herman Cain! Newt Gingrich may be grouchy and insane, but he's capable of pulling old legislation names and cherry-picked statistics out of his ass for several hours. Herman Cain is the sort of candidate who flourishes in the usual "superficial debates," where you don't have enough time to reveal your complete lack of knowledge about the workings of the federal government. Anyway, have fun guys! We'll check out the highlights afterwards on Fox News, the #1 most accurate source for all things Lincoln-Douglas.

[Images via AP]