Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'
Anita Dunn (right) is playing CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley (left) in President Barack Obama's debate preparation sessions. Dunn is pictured appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on November 6, 2011.
October 14th, 2012
05:08 PM ET
2 years ago

Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'

Williamsburg, Virginia (CNN) – Amid a picture-perfect autumn weekend at an expansive Virginia resort and golf club, President Barack Obama spent much of Sunday sequestered indoors as he and his aides prepared for a pivotal second debate with rival Mitt Romney.

In his one public appearance of the day – a quick trip to a local campaign field office to greet supporters – Obama reported his debate practice "is going great" but declined to elaborate further.

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Campaign aides are also revealing few details about the debate preparations to the dozen or so reporters who have followed Obama to the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, though it appears they have taken an all-hands-on-deck approach in an effort to ensure the president does not have a repeat showing of his widely panned performance 10 days ago.

Several of the president's top aides have been spotted roaming the property, including White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, and David Axelrod, the president's chief political strategist.

Also seen here was U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts – large color-coded binder in tow - who the campaign confirms is again playing the role of Romney in the debate preparations. Moreover, a campaign official said Anita Dunn, the former White House Communications Director, has been recruited to play the role of debate moderator and CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Still, the president and his VIP entourage might only be the second-most exciting show on these exclusive grounds this weekend: also happening just yards from the building Obama is prepping in is a convention of dozens of Ferrari enthusiasts. At last count, about twelve Ferraris – old and new – lined the meandering James River abutting the resort.

The president's only respite Sunday came shortly after 2 p.m. ET, when his motorcade departed the resort grounds en route to the small campaign office five miles away. Obama delivered four boxes of pizza to the handful of volunteers waiting inside and proceeded to call two other local supporters.

"We are going to keep on pushing for the next three weeks," the president told one of the individuals he called.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Rocker to campaign for Obama

– Shot fired at Obama campaign office

– Poll: Romney ahead in key state

– Obama takes supporters out to dinner

– Romney, Ryan buoyed by debates


Filed under: President Obama • Presidential Debates • Virginia
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Fact

    I wonder if he's still complaining about it being "a drag". They're probably telling him: for every I hour of debate practice he gets 1 hour of golf. Good grief, I pray we don't end up with this kid in the White House again.

    October 14, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Lanslot

    Trying to defend the indefensable is hard work!! Poor Guy!

    October 14, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This prep is needed given his last outting.

    October 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Candy Crowley is so republican I can smell it when she gives them the softball questions on TV. And she has twice as many republicans as democrats on her shows. I can't stand to watch her any more. At least Glenn Beck was funny. He was hilarious, tho I know we aren't supposed to laugh at the mentally ill.

    Obama/Biden 2012 to protect women's rights and healthcare and get jobs and better benefits for our vets.

    The republican baggers voted against veterans benefits and jobs bills. They are anti-american.

    October 14, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. RS, CA

    Barack the Quack - go away - we no longer want you!

    October 14, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. Griff.

    "And what does Obama think Mitt Romney is doing?? You cannot outspeak something you don't understand, and Obama understands nothing that's logic. He just can't connect, without adding twice as many more verbs, than his opponent, and that makes hard work of any dialect/dialogu. When you're Flustered. you're Dead."

    October 15, 2012 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  7. Marie MD

    All the President needs is to follow on Biden's footsteps. Don't laugh so much but call the bully bishop out on everything he flip flopped on during the last debate and since 1994 (pro chocie-against it now, DADT-against it now, hunter's fees upped four or seven times when he was governor-so much for loving the nra).
    There's plenty of ammunition USE IT DARN IT!!!

    October 15, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  8. John, PA

    "going great" well that's how the American voter / public at large decsribe the last for years under president Obama. How can Obama even begin to defend the last four years of failure.

    October 15, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
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