“President Obama has been forced to cancel several debate practice sessions with Senator John F. Kerry, whom he tapped to play stand-in for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, leaving little time for them to spar ahead of next week’s first presidential debate,” the Boston Globe writes. “The Massachusetts senator has held at least one mock debate with Obama to help him prepare for the first matchup against the former Massachusetts governor to be held Oct. 3 in Denver, but several others were cancelled due to the the president’s busy schedule, said deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter.”
Buzzfeed: “Aides to President Barack Obama are sparing nothing — including their boss's balance — in an almost comical attempt to lower expectations for the president in next week's debate with Mitt Romney. On Air Force One today, traveling press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by reporters what the worst thing that could happen to him on Wednesday night. ‘Well, he could fall off the stage,’ she replied of the president.
"‘The president will have some time to prepare and he's been doing some studying, but it is certainly less than we have anticipated because of events in the Middle East, because of his busy travel schedule — because of just the constraints of governing,’ she added. ‘So it is less than we originally planned.’ Psaki lamented the president's ‘loquaciousness’ and argued that Romney is the most prepared debater in presidential debate history — on account of his preparation sessions going back to May.”
Bill Clinton will campaign for Obama in New Hampshire Wednesday, the same day as the first presidential debate.
Obama leads narrowly in North Carolina in a state that should demographically be tougher for him. But AP finds a robust grassroots organization on the ground for the president: “Dozens of volunteers armed with clipboards and voter registration forms gather at President Barack Obama’s field office here every day. Their mission: Fan out across the city seeking new voters in this rapidly growing state,” AP writes, adding, “The effort, it seems, has borne fruit — to the tune of more than 250,000 new registered voters in North Carolina since April 2011, according to Obama’s team. That’s more new voters than the campaign has registered anywhere else in the country. It’s an eye-popping total in a state that Obama won by just 14,000 votes four years ago.”
“Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) joined President Barack Obama in Virginia Beach today and issued a stinging attack on Mitt Romney's failure to mention veterans during his presidential nomination acceptance speech, while also noting that Romney did not serve in the military,” Roll Call notes. Webb said, "They will not say this, so I will say it for them. They are owed, if nothing else, at least a mention, some word of thanks and respect, when a presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech accepting his party's nomination to be commander in chief. And they are owed much more than that - a guarantee that we will never betray the commitment that we made to them and to their loved ones."
“Billionaire financier George Soros has given $1 million to the primary super PAC helping President Obama,” USA Today notes. “The funding is a boost to Priorities USA Action in the final weeks of the campaign.”