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Former Clinton Press Secretary Talks About Preparing For Presidential Debate

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Former Clinton Administration Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers talks about preparing for the presidential debate at DU on Wednesday. (credit: CBS)

Former Clinton Administration Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers talks about preparing for the presidential debate at DU on Wednesday. (credit: CBS)

CONTEST

DENVER (CBS4)- The former press secretary for the Clinton Administration has some predictions for the outcome of the presidential debate at the University of Denver. She believes this is the opportunity for the candidates to show their true colors.

“Especially here, you guys are being inundated with 30 second television ads every day, every show, for weeks and weeks and weeks. Tonight you get to take all that away and see these two guys, can they think on their feet, can they articulate their views, can they respond to each other in a civil or not so civil a way?,” said former Clinton Administration Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.

“A lot of personality comes through. If you think back, the debates haven’t often decided the outcome of an election but when they do it’s usually because somebody makes a mistake.”

She believes this debate will play a major role in the upcoming election.

“I’ve never seen a higher stakes, higher pressure debate situation. I think the proof of that is how much time each candidate is spending preparing. The president, obviously has campaigned, to an advantage. He doesn’t want to lose that. Romney has to do something to get back into this thing or to get voters to take a second look at him,” said Myers.

She also recounted how she helped President Clinton prepare for debates when he was running for president in 1992 and again for re-election in 1996.

“I’ve never seen a higher stakes, higher pressure debate situation. I think the proof of that is how much time each candidate is spending preparing. The president, obviously has campaigned, to an advantage. He doesn’t want to lose that. Romney has to do something to get back into this thing or to get voters to take a second look at him,” said Myers.

She said there is a fine balance between being prepared and sounding spontaneous.

“The trick is to be ready, to have a strategy, to be able to execute against that strategy but not to be so rehearsed that you sound like everything that comes out of your mouth is rehearsed. It’s very tough to hit that sweet spot,” said Myers.

Myers said the debate provides more than just an opportunity for the candidates to express their ideas, plans and strategies. It’s also an opportunity for voters who may think they have already made up their minds to take another look.

“There are five weeks to go until this election, five weeks from today. The press doesn’t want to cover a five week election that’s over. So they’re much more, if Romney gets a second look, it becomes a much more interesting race. I think we’re primed for Romney to have a second look,” said Myers.

“I don’t know that it’s enough to change the outcome. I do think there is a good chance that Romney has a solid performance. People will say, ‘He stood on the stage with the president, he looked presidential, he looked incredible, he’s created an opportunity for himself’ and people will give him a second look. I think that’s a likely outcome assuming that nobody has a big mistake.”

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