President Obama drops in on Henderson volunteers on Monday. (Courtesy of Allison Cho)
HENDERSON, NV (FOX5) -
President Barack Obama is holed at the Westin Hotel at Lake Las Vegas with senior staff, working through talking points and potential questions for Wednesday's domestic policy debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
It's a cram session for what might be the most important night of his campaign.
Following a weekend rally at Desert Pines High School, the president has sequestered himself. He did, however, sneak away briefly to his Henderson campaign office to surprise volunteers with pizza.
"I'm kind of shocked that this happened today. It doesn't happen every day that the president drops in to say hello," said Obama campaign volunteer Connie Snyder.
"I (had) never met him or seen him up close so I was very excited," said Sheryl Allen, another volunteer.
As soon as the last slice was scarfed down, the president was back to work.
"The president's focus is on making sure he's ready on Wednesday night to speak directly to the people of Nevada and to speak directly to people across America who are just maybe tuning in," said Jen Psaki, the president's traveling press secretary.
On Sunday, the president downplayed his skills as a debater, saying he is "just OK."
Romney, meanwhile, is prepping in Denver where the debate will be held. At least one person in his camp raised the bar for Wednesday's showdown.
"He's gonna be on the same stage as the President of the United States, the first time they get to make a side-by-side comparison of the two of them. So it's huge," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a recent TV interview.
As for the president, his campaign said a major focus for the debate is pairing down longwinded answers.
"Debates are not always the best format when you like to give long, substantive answers like the president likes to give. It's just his nature. So he's practicing tightening his answers, shortening his answers - making sure he can get his point across," Psaki said.
Sen. John Kerry is with the president, playing the role of Romney in practice sessions. Obama's camp said they are expecting one-liners and zingers from Romney on Wednesday but that the president won't be baited into back and forth punch lines.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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