domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2012

Los candidatos desaparecerán durante 72 y 48 horas para preparar el debate del miércoles

President Obama travels to Henderson, Nev., on Sunday for a mission far more important than the usual swing-state campaign rally: He will huddle privately with senior aides for an intensive, three-day boot camp to prepare for the first presidential debate.

On Monday, Mitt Romney will do the same with his advisers in Denver, two days before the rivals take the stage at the University of Denver for a 90-minute faceoff focused on the economy.

(...) Although his advisers have been mum on the details, the president’s cram sessions are likely to include rigorous policy briefings, mock debates — with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) playing the role of Romney — and a critical review of Obama’s own bad habits.

Obama has been concentrating on shortening his responses, aides said, because his tendency to slip into professor mode when explaining things limits the media-friendly sound bites that can form lasting impressions on viewers.

“The president is familiar with his own loquaciousness,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, fretting that run-on responses can be a drawback in debates with a time clock.

(...) Obama and his advisers say they recognize the risks. They have sought to play down expectations, noting that this will be Obama’s first debate in four years, while Romney has had more recent practice with a string of primary debates. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina called Romney a “very skilled debater” and said that Romney won 19 of the 23 Republican primary debates.

(...) This summer, the president had several practice sessions at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. Senior White House adviser David Plouffe, communications director Dan Pfeiffer, strategist Anita Dunn and others provided guidance. Kerry was tapped to stand in for Romney because of his familiarity with both the debate format and Romney’s record in Massachusetts.

(...) Romney has been blocking out an hour or two nearly each day to study Obama’s policies and reviewing briefing books. He also spent the week of the Democratic National Convention rehearsing for the debate.

Romney will conduct a two-day boot camp, with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) playing the role of the president, as Portman did in 2008 to prepare Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for debates with Obama. Portman has been a semi-regular on the Romney campaign plane in the past several weeks.

As Romney aides are quick to point out, Obama has participated in one-on-one debates more recently than Romney, who hasn’t faced a head-to-head matchup since his successful Massachusetts governor’s race in 2002.

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