“This morning the president played basketball for three hours, then drank about a quart of Scotch. He just really threw it back. Right now he is wandering the West Wing pantsing all the Joint Chiefs he can find. We hope he’ll be ready for the debate tonight, but who knows.”—White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Oct. 3, 10:15 a.m.
“Look, English isn’t even my native language. President Obama is going to—¿cómo se dice?—wipe me all over the floor?”—Mitt Romney, Oct. 3, 11:20 a.m.
“If I can get up there and not literally soil myself, honestly, that’s a victory as far as I’m concerned.”—Barack Obama, Oct. 3, 1:45 p.m.
“Who knows what’ll happen! Maybe I’ll just get up there on the podium and start talking about a wonderful man named Joseph Smith!”—Mitt Romney, Oct. 3, 3 p.m.
“Yeah, I know I have a debate tonight, but that movie Looper sounds awesome. It’s at Gallery Place at 9:10. I got tickets online just in case. Might do that instead. It’s gonna be a game-time decision.”—Barack Obama, Oct. 3, 4:28 p.m.
“Mr. Romney has told us that he will not be at the debate tonight. I can confirm that he is skipping the debate. Not even showing up or making an appearance in any way. Nope.”
[QUESTION: “Do you know where he’ll be instead?”]
“Mr. Romney told me he’ll probably be crying somewhere because of how Barack Obama is better at debating than him.”—Romney afternoon press briefing with spokesperson Andrea Saul, Oct. 3, 4:50 p.m.
“Hello, I’m Jim Lehrer and welcome to the first presidential debate of the 2012 campaign. Unfortunately, neither candidate is here. In place of Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee has sent comedian Elayne Boosler. Meanwhile, at Governor Romney’s podium, there is in fact a large honey-baked ham. We’ll see you on October 11 for the second debate, which will focus on foreign and domestic policy. Good night.”—Jim Lehrer, Oct. 3, 9:04 p.m.