The Ticket

Obama: Debate prep is ‘a drag’

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President Barack Obama phones volunteers to thank them for their efforts during a visit to at a local Obama campaign …

President Barack Obama, holed up at a swank Las Vegas-area resort to get ready for his first debate with Mitt Romney, jokingly told a volunteer on Monday that debate prep can be "a drag."

Obama popped in his campaign's field office in Henderson, Nev., to give staff there a pep talk and phone a few volunteers, including Andrea Stinger. Pool reporter Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal collected his comments.

"We had a great prep, and it was a lot of fun," he told Stinger. "It's very nice. Although basically they're keeping me indoors all the time. It's a drag. They're making me do my homework."

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to shed much light on the president's debate prep sessions, in which Democratic Sen. John Kerry has been playing Romney. But she again described how one of Obama's key goals was battling his tendency to be long-winded.

The president is trying to "make sure he is sharpening his answers and shortening the time it takes to make them."

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