Obama Crams for Debates, Works on Being Concise
On long flights to swing states in the West and late nights at the White House after his children have gone to bed, President Barack Obama is cramming like a student for a test that could determine his political future.
The subject? His opponent, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The test? His face-off with the former Massachusetts governor at their first one-on-one debate next month.
With the race still tight despite Obama’s slight lead in the polls, the stakes are high for both men to perform well at the three debates this fall and gain momentum toward sealing the November 6 election.
Forced to juggle his governing and campaigning responsibilities, Obama is squeezing in debate prep when he can.
“We don’t have the same luxury that Romney does in terms of time,” Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod said.
That means Obama uses flights to Nevada, Colorado and other election swing states on Air Force One to read up on Romney’s positions, or studies in the evenings at the White House when he’s in town.
“He’s spent a lot of time reading material and most of it is familiarizing himself with what Governor Romney said in this campaign,” Axelrod said. “I mean, he’s pretty conversant with his own record but he wasn’t very conversant with Romney’s.”