* Springsteen and Clinton focus on voters in swing states
* Obama in Virginia to prepare for debate
By Jeff Mason
WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Oct 13 Republican Mitt Romney
may have Clint Eastwood on his side, but President Barack Obama
has Bruce Springsteen.
The rock star will perform at campaign rallies for the
president in the battleground states of Ohio and Iowa on
Thursday, the Obama campaign said.
His appearances come as the president's team is ramping up
efforts to turn out supporters before the Nov. 6 election. Obama
and Romney are running neck and neck in national polls after the
Republican's strong performance in their Oct. 3 debate boosted
"Iowans understand hard work, fairness and integrity, the
same values that Bruce Springsteen, the president and vice
president stand for," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in
a statement. "Springsteen's appearances will be valuable in
energizing supporters and getting out the vote effort in these
important swing states."
The Obama campaign did not have details about the size of
the venues in Ames, Iowa and the Parma, Ohio, area. Former
President Bill Clinton will be at the event with Springsteen in
Ohio. Both events are free and open to the public.
The Obama campaign often plays Springsteen songs at campaign
stops, believing his working-class themes fit in well with the
president's message. The New Jersey-born rocker also campaigned
for Obama in 2008.
Eastwood, the Oscar-winning director and actor, made a
surprise and somewhat bizarre appearance at the Republican
National Convention when he used an empty stool as a prop to
represent the Democratic incumbent.
Obama is spending the weekend at a resort in Williamsburg,
Virginia, where he is preparing for the next debate on Tuesday
with Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
Senator John Kerry will reprise his role impersonating the
Republican presidential candidate. Obama advisers David Axelrod,
David Plouffe and others are working with the president to craft
a sharper performance after his lackluster encounter with Romney
at their first debate.
Virginia is a battleground state, and the president's choice
of location for debate preparation not far from Washington was
not an accident. As he did during his stay in Nevada before the
first debate, Obama will likely make an unscheduled stop in the
area to generate local press coverage during his stay.
Aides to the president have been reluctant to share details
on how his debate preparation is structured.
A campaign official said he would spend the coming days
practicing and studying material.
Vice President Joe Biden brought new vigor to the Obama
campaign after his aggressive debate on Thursday against
Romney's running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. But voters
traditionally pay much closer attention to the candidates at the
top of the ticket.
Obama is likely to follow up on issues from the vice
presidential debate where his campaign believes Ryan showed
signs of weakness, including taxes, women's right to abortion,
and a time line for ending the war in Afghanistan.