October 2nd, 2012
06:22 PM ET
LAS VEGAS (CNN) – For the second day in a row, President Barack Obama took an afternoon break from preparing for Wednesday night’s debate with a field trip. Tuesday's trip was a visit to the Hoover Dam.
The president’s motorcade drove 30 minutes to Boulder City, Nevada, where he stopped at the site ofa heliport overlooking the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River Bridge.
"Its spectacular and I've never seen it before. I didn't realize it was so close by,” Obama told reporters along for the trip. “Marvin [Nicholson] said we were only 15 miles away and I said well we've got to go check it out.”
Obama was led on a short tour by Rob Skordas, Assistant Dam Manager for History and Operational Logistics, and Janel Brawner-Potucek from the United States Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of Interior.
The president was surprised to learn the dam didn’t provide water and electricity to Las Vegas. Curious about the history of the construction, he spent slightly more than an hour viewing various parts of the dam, including the transformer deck and the power house.
On Monday, the president ventured out to visit a local campaign office and thank volunteers. While speaking with one worker, he commented on being at his hotel while he practiced for the debate. “Basically they're keeping me indoors all the time. It’s a drag,” he joked. “They're making me do my homework."
Campaign officials attributed in part the president's pre-debate Nevada swing to a desireto speak to voters and focus on early voting in the state, which begins on October 20th. But in his stops for the past two days, interactions with voters have mostly been limited to campaign volunteers during Monday's stop, followed by officials at the Hoover Dam on Tuesday.