President says rehearsals for his showdown are "going great!"...
Williamsburg, VA - President Obama took a break from his debate boot camp at the Kingsmill Resort on Sunday to visit with volunteers at a local campaign office. Clad in his shirtsleeves, the President arrived armed with four boxes of pizza as he began his half-hour visit at 2:30 PM. He greeted his volunteers and then worked the phones, surprising supporters. The President made a similar pizza delivery to field office workers in Nevada when prepping for his first debate at a resort in Henderson. (Above: Arriving with his gift)
"Hello everybody, hello!" President Obama called out as he entered the office. "I brought some food."
There were cheers and applause from the volunteers, and the President handed out hugs and handshakes. Asked by a reporter how his debate prep is going, the President was cheery.
"It is going great!" the President responded.
Sen. John Kerry is playing Mitt Romney for the President's rehearsals, and former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is playing moderator Candy Crowley, a Campaign aide said. The Town-Hall style debate will be Tuesday night at Hofstra University in New York, and the President has been huddled with advisors in Virginia since Saturday afternoon in an effort to turn in a better performance than in his first verbal duel.
"Hello everybody," he whispered. "If you're not on the phone take a break."
He kissed the women and shook hands with the men, pool reported. One fellow said he was from London.
"London! I like that," the President exclaimed.
Then he sat between volunteers Suzanne Stern and Alexa Kissinger, and picked up the phone.
"I'm gonna do my work. Everybody's so serious!" he said.
First call to a volunteer. "Hi Griselda! This is Barack Obama. I wanted to call and say thank you."
"I understand you're gonna be installed as a pastor at Trinity Baptist church...you tell everybody at church I said hi....And make sure they keep me in their prayers and keep Michelle and the girls in their prayers."
As the President started the next call, Stern seemed dubious that he would know how to use the "old fashioned" phone. "Like this," the President said, and pushed a button. (Above, with Stern and the phone)
"We actually still have old style phones at the white House," he said.
"I don't believe it," Stern said.
"Is this Ellen? Ellen this is Barack Obama! It is. Really truly," President Obama said on his next call.
Just before pool ushered out, a reporter yelled "How is debate prep going?"
As provided by the campaign, the two people pool heard the President call are Griselda Bayton and Chuck and Ellen Hawkins.
Leaving the office shortly before 3:00 PM, the President worked a rope line of about 15 people outside before climbing back into his motorcade and roaring away. He was back at Kingsmill Resort at 3:05 PM. His weekend began with a dinner on Friday night at Smith Commons with the winners of the campaign's last Dinner with Barack contest in Washington, DC.
The President will remain in Williamsburg through Tuesday morning, prepping for his showdown.
*Photos by Obama for America and pool