Obama heads south for 3 days of debate prep

Interesting story out today about Obama’s plans for Friday’s (9/26/08) first Presidential debate on foreign policy. Apparently Obama will be heading south this week and spending 3 days prepping for the debate in hopes to woo voters with his answers and knowledge of foreign policy issues.

Report from Yahoo News:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama planned to head to Florida this week for three days of preparation for the first debate of the general election, a matchup that could reshape a tight White House race.

Aides say the debate, scheduled for Friday at the University of Mississippi and focused on foreign policy, will give Sen. Obama a chance to demonstrate proficiency in an area where polls have shown voters give the edge to Sen. John McCain, the Republican challenger and a 26-year Washington veteran who touts his ties to leaders around the world.

If Obama can hold his own on foreign policy, it could ease those worries, aides said Sunday as they tried to lower expectations for the first-term Illinois senator, a powerful speaker but an uneven performer in multiple debates during the Democratic primaries.

Instead, senior Obama adviser Robert Gibbs said it is McCain who needs to meet expectations.

“John McCain has boasted throughout the campaign about his decades of Washington foreign policy experience and what an advantage that would be for him,” Gibbs said. “This debate offers him major home-court advantage and anything short of a game-changing event will be a key missed opportunity for him.”

While Obama is cloistered in Tampa, Fla., veteran Washington lawyer Greg Craig will play the role of McCain in the debate preparations. Craig was a member of President Clinton’s defense team during the impeachment proceedings. In 2004, he was a stand-in for President Bush when Democratic nominee John Kerry prepared for his debates. Craig also has advised both Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on foreign policy.

The bulk of Obama’s time in Florida will be devoted to the debates, but he’s also likely to hold some campaign events in the area.

To be a fly on that wall would be fascinating. McCain will be doing the same kind of prep, no doubt, with a fill-in for Obama as well.

  • As they say “Planning & Preperation Prevents Piss Poor Performance” Obama needs a good foreign policy debate.

  • Babs

    No doubt McCain could stand and debate anyone on foreign policy right this minute. It’s disquieting that Obama needs to “prepare” for days for a debate on foreign policy. Is there a “hold” button on that 3 a.m. phone so he can prepare?? 😉

  • Pats

    Obama stands for change and will not go to the debate with old stuff. Let him take a week or more hence every body is looking for his weakness instead of his strength.
    McCain, on the other hand has handouts from Bush and does not need to prepare. Let’s wait and see.

  • john

    thats pretty absurd, Babs, that u are assuming McCain is not involved in the same level of preparation for the debate. If you consider the amount of people with which they BOTH surround themselves in their campaigns it becomes fairly obvious that there is tons of preparation involved in almost every public statement made by either candidate throughout the elections

  • JD

    Babs – “It’s disquieting that Obama needs to “prepare” for days for a debate on foreign policy. Is there a “hold” button on that 3 a.m. phone so he can prepare??”

    Do you hold your precious Palin to that same remark? I believe she had to spend Days preparing for a simple interview. God knows what she is going through to get ready for the debate…

    Now I am just distracting from the original topic.

    It is not uncommon that presidential hopefuls spend a few days getting ready for debates and to assume that it would be a reflection on any candidate is just plain silly.

  • Babs

    JD, Palin is not my “precious Palin”. I think you got my point, and I stand by it. Obama is not ready to lead, at 3 a.m. or any other hour.

  • JD

    I like you with a little fire Babs. I didn’t mean to get you worked up with the Precious Palin comment.

    I get your point but it is not a good one. Anyone can make a statement and see if it sticks. Like Palin is an idiot. Indeed I am makeing a point when I say it but am I really?

    Palin is not an Idiot and Obama is ready to lead… although he may not be the president that agree with nor Palin the vise president I agree with but the issues are where we first met so lets get back to the to that ans see where the night takes us.

  • Babs

    JD, this is my opinion. Obama has surrounded himself with hundreds of advisors on every topic, and here’s why. He knows he has no history in Congress to draw from, he has no history in politics to draw from. McCain has the history, which he can talk about freely – pieces of history he’s been a part of for over two decades, opinions he’s voiced for over two decades. Obama has advisors who can tutor him on what’s gone on in politics and the world in the last two decades. This is to prepare him just for a debate and a campaign he himself said he wasn’t qualified for. How many advisors will he need in the White House just to make a single everyday decision? He doesn’t take a stand on a single issue or form one opinion without first getting counsel from his advisors or checking the polls for the “right” answer. How do you get that he’s ready to lead? He can’t even think for himself.

  • JD

    Babs – “He doesn’t take a stand on a single issue or form one opinion without first getting counsel from his advisors or checking the polls for the “right” answer.”

    There you go again making blanket statements and generalizations.

    I will disregard your comment about not having a single original opinion as you were just trying to emphasis the point.

    Now to the point. Are you faulting Obama for consulting people on the hard issues? I don’t know about you but I certianly wish Bush would have done this.

    Not to mention McCain is big into exploratory committees to help him decide how to run the American economy. Does that mean he is not ready to lead?

    No, it means that both presidential candidates want and look to have the best and most information before making a decision. Is this a bad thing?

    You need to get the log out of your eye before you go after the splinter in others. Palin who is the Vise President and sits one heart attack away from taking the spot of president just met her first foreign leaders a day ago. Do you really think the GOP is not going to tutor her on foriegn policy when she is going to debate Biden?

    Hell, they spend two days tutoring her before she interviews Charlie Gibson and Katie. Yet, you don’t say anything about that.

    Again, your point is a weak one. If you have an issue with where Obama stands then make that but Presidents consult their advisors or they would not be called advisors. After the president we have in office who is “Wired” to just react and “not blink” when we have a problem… I am not ready for another.

    So I am glad that both Obama and McCain are talking to the right people on the state of affairs in the US and abroad.

  • Bill Hedges

    JD There is only politician that did not first go threw adviser. Their on his boat…..called MONKEY BUSINWSS