Boca Raton, FL: While spending his pre-debate hours at an Embassy Suites hotel located close to Lynn University, President Obama will fortify himself for tonight's 9:00 PM foreign policy face-off by having the same hearty, All-American dinner he had before his second debate: Steak and potatoes, according to a campaign aide. First Lady Michell Obama will join her husband for the private meal. It's something of a landmark moment: Tonight is the final debate of Mr. Obama's presidential career. (Above: The President with Lynn U's president Kevin M. Ross, during his afternoon walk-through of the debate venue)
The steak and potatoes dinner seemed to work wonders for the President last week at the second debate, putting pep in his step and helping him shake off the doldrums from his first verbal duel, which he has jokingly called a "nice long nap." Beef is one of the President's favorite entrees, and also the main course served most frequently at high-profile White House dinners. White House assistant chef Sam Kass' recipe for Grilled Skirt Steak with Poblano Sauce is a Presidential favorite. Add White House Roasted Potatoes, and you, too, can eat like the President.
The President will spend time with his friends Marty Nesbitt and Mike Ramos at the hotel ahead of his dinner with the First Lady, according to his aide.
Mrs. Obama was out and about on the campaign trail this afternoon, speaking "to grassroots supporters" at a 3:00 PM event in Davie in Broward County, before attending a campaign fundraiser in Boca Raton at 4:50 PM.
The President spent the weekend in seclusion at Camp David rehearsing for the debate, and arrived at Palm Beach International Airport today at 1:22 PM. He had a walk-through of the debate venue shortly after 2:10 PM, spending about fifteen minutes surveying the auditorium. The President met with Lynn University president Kevin M. Ross, as his press pool was held outside.
Before leaving Camp David this morning, the President had a 45-minute run through with his debate prep team. On Sunday night, joined by his top advisors and Sen. John Kerry, who has been the stand-in for Mitt Romney in rehearsals, there was more prep. At the end of the session, the President's team gave Kerry a round of applause, according to an aide. Kerry traveled to Florida today with President Obama.
The President was also accompanied to Florida by Senior Adviser David Plouffe, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, pollster Joel Benenson, chief speechwriter Jon Favreau, Campaign Advisor David Axelrod, lawyer Bob Barnett and Brian Deese, special assistant to the President on economic policy, and chief photographer Pete Souza.
After the debate, the President and Mrs. Obama will spend the night in Boca Raton.
On Tuesday, the President will travel to Delray, Florida and Dayton, Ohio for campaign events before returning to Washington, DC on Tuesday evening. The rest of the week will be spent hopscotching around the country, on an extended campaign junket.
*Photo at top courtesy of @LynnUniversity, by @Jeldubelu