There has been much speculation as to why President Obama, who we have come to respect as a world class orator and debater, wasn't himself at the first debate with Mitt Romney. The real reason, recently confirmed by an anonymous staffer, is that Obama truly wasn't himself because the man standing at that podium wasn't actually him.
The man at the podium was Leon Fern, Obama's double, a human replica of the President with an uncanny resemblance to him in appearance, mannerisms and speaking voice. It is said that even Michelle Obama cannot tell the difference between the two men, a situation that Leon swears he has not taken advantage of.
The real Obama did not attend the debate because he was playing Words With Friends with Angela Merkel.
Presidential stand-ins have been used since 1825. Lincoln's double, Josiah Millsap, often accompanied Mary Todd Lincoln to social gatherings, so the real Lincoln, who hated small talk, cocktails and his wife's wardrobe, could play darts with William Seward in a room at the Willard Hotel. Unfortunately, Millsap, who was supposed to attend Ford's Theater on that fateful night, had an attack of gout and was unable to go.
Calvin Coolidge, nicknamed Silent Cal for his legendary dullness, was actually loquacious to the point of annoyance. His stand-in, Robert Dinks, could not quite get Coolidge's voice right and was instructed to keep quiet as much as possible.
The real Ronald Reagan appeared at his first debate with Walter Mondale but when his confusion and forgetfulness caused him to blow the debate, advisors sent in his stand-in, Murray Shoe who had better command of his memory and quashed Mondale.
The reason Bill and Hillary are still together is that it was Bill's stand-in, Fred Blank, who was the one that actually enjoyed the favors of Monica Lewinsky.
George W. Bush's stand-in, Claude Drink, a high-school drop-out and freelance typewriter salesman, was used so often, it was said the real George W. Bush was only present in the Oval Office twice in eight years.
Millard Fillmore had a double but nobody knows why.