Playing Up, Playing Down the Debates

Wall Street Journal: “The Obama campaign wants to set a low bar for the president’s performance, reflecting in part the reality that the president’s debating skills are weaker than his other political assets. More importantly, the campaign is looking to the three presidential debates, the first of which will be in Denver on Oct. 3, not for a breakthrough, but as a fresh chance to deliver the president’s core messages.”

“Mr. Romney and his advisers, by contrast, are talking up the opportunity for the debates to shake up the race. His top advisers have made clear he is spending a lot of time preparing. He began in the middle of the summer and spent almost all of the Democratic National Convention at the secluded Vermont estate of Kerry Healey, his former lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, where he ran practice sessions. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) played Mr. Obama in the simulations…

The extensive early preparation is unusual for a presidential
candidate, as is the fact that his advisers publicized his preparation
so widely.”

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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