How is President Obama feeling about tonight's third, and final, face off with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney?
Vice president Joe Biden revealed at least one tidbit about the president based on a private phone call he had - with the first lady.
"I just spoke with Michelle [Obama], which I'm speaking of a classy woman, a classy, bright lady," Biden said early on at a campaign rally in Lorain, Ohio. "And he's excited for the debate tonight."
Biden continued: "Of course, this will be his third debate. And I had my one debate with Congressman Ryan. And one thing I think has come across clear to the American people is that we really have fundamentally different views on how to move this nation forward. And a fundamentally different value set than the other team does."
Biden's comments came at the second of two events in Ohio on Monday. The vice president is scheduled to campaign here through Wednesday. In one appearance, Biden will make a rare, joint appearance with the president, hours after the debate.
That appearance will happen Tuesday in Dayton.
While foreign policy became an unexpected pivotal point in last week's town-hall style presidential debate, Monday's final showdown is to focus entirely on international affairs.
And with the U.S. government knee-deep in an investigation of its handling of the Benghazi consulate attacks and as reports emerge of planned negotiations with Iranian leaders, the topic could provide a pivot point in the tight race for the White House.
"I think it's going to be an important debate," senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said Sunday, though he sought to lower expectations. "I don't think any one event is decisive, even though being strong at home and building our economy is the No. 1 issue."
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet for their third of three debates in Boca Raton, Florida, the biggest swing state prize with 29 electoral votes. It marks the closing note of the debate season, one that landed Romney a much-needed boost after his widely applauded performance -- and Obama's derided one -- in the first debate. The second matchup was considered more of a draw, with Obama edging Romney in several polls of debate-watchers.
The debate will have some competition for viewership, as the event airs at the same time as two popular sporting events -- Monday Night Football, this week featuring the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, and the pivotal seventh game of baseball's National League Championship Series, which will determine whether the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants advance to the World Series.
Political observers say incumbents usually have an advantage on foreign policy because of their experience making decisions for the country and access to some of the most privileged intelligence.
A Pew Research Poll that came before the second debate showed Obama ahead of Romney 47% to 43% when voters were asked which candidate they thought would handle foreign policy decisions better. That's within the margin of error and is a much tighter poll than one taken by Pew in September, which showed Obama leading Romney 53% to 38%.
The Obama campaign has attempted to paint Romney as unprepared to handle issues on the world stage. Calling Romney "reckless," Axelrod on Sunday hinted at one line of attack the president could take during Monday's debate.
"We all remember his 'Dukes of Hazzard' tour of international destinations over the summer, where he not only roiled countries that are not as friendly to us but also our best ally, Britain."
During a trip to the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland in July, Romney generated international criticism for his comments in London questioning Britain's preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
That perceived gaffe was followed by what some said were inappropriate comments about Palestinians, questioning why Palestinian-controlled areas had a lower GDP per capita than Israel.
Romney also has faced criticism over his initial response to the Benghazi consulate attack, in which killed four Americans were killed, and the breaching of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo last month. He put out a statement the night of the unrest, then held a news conference to chastise Obama on foreign policy the next morning. Democrats and some Republicans argued the reaction was made in haste.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, cited the incident as an example of Romney being unprepared to be a world leader.
"Gov. Romney just seems to be bluster, blunder, cowboy-alone foreign policy," Richardson said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I'm troubled at this time when we had the Benghazi crisis, he's trying to make political gain."
But questions have lingered over why the U.S. was