Well, I guess my brain is pretty defective. Not only did I not realize for the longest time that 'Gary Johnson' and 'Rocky Anderson' are two different names (hey, they both end in 'son', right?), but earlier this week when I looked to see who had won the run-off vote at Free and Equal I thought it was Stein and Anderson (even though I expected it would be Stein and Johnson and that's what it actually was).
Still, I think the debate will be telling.
In the first debate, each candidate was mainly just laying out their views. When they did respond at all to the others, it was simply pointing out a difference, not rebutting arguments (e.g. Stein and Anderson didn't address Johnson's constant warning of a coming currency crisis). So it will be interesting to see whether in this debate Stein will actually have arguments with Johnson, or whether she will stick to talking points (or if you think that's a pejorative term, which I don't, think of it as 'laying out her party's agenda').
My top choices in the run-off were Stein and Anderson, but such a debate would have had the potential to--like the Romney-Obama debates, ironically (maybe, I don't really know what irony is)--center on relatively minor differences and only mention (but not go into details about) the major issues since they largely agree on them. It would've been interesting to see how it'd turn out, to see whether they'd fall into such a trap or not.
But what I would really like to see is a Stein vs Johnson debate AND an Anderson vs Johnson debate. That way we would get to see for each of them whether they are able to understand and address libertarian/right-wing thinking. I think this is actually a very important ability in a candidate. The reason is that there is some deeply appealing kernel inside libertarianism which I think appeals even to those of us who find libertarianism itself absurd as a political philosophy. And, needless to say, there are many decent people who actually are libertarians, so being able to communicate with them is a big plus.
Any thoughts welcome, of course.