Despite the first 2012 Presidential Debate not being scheduled until October 3, both campaigns are likely hard at work beginning to prep for these increasingly important broadcast battles. According to a story from Monday, President Obama has selected Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to play the stand-in for Mitt Romney in the President’s debate prep.
Report from the Boston Globe:
Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, who ran for president himself and is an experienced debater from his campaigns and five terms in the US Senate, will play the role of Republican Mitt Romney in President Obama’s upcoming debate preparation sessions.
In that capacity, the senator will be expected to provide the answers Romney might offer on debate questions, while foreshadowing his attacks, mimicking his speaking style, and modeling his posture so Obama feels comfortable against him during their three meetings this fall.
“There is no one that has more experience or understanding of the presidential debate process than John Kerry,” Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said Monday in a statement to the Globe. “He’s an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. He’s the obvious choice.”
Obama’s performance in his debates against Romney could be pivotal to the election’s outcome.
Romney has yet to select a surrogate to play Obama during his mock debates. One of his prospective vice presidential running mates, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, did so in 2008 for Republican nominee John McCain. Portman also played Kerry for President George W. Bush as he prepared to debate the senator during the 2004 White House campaign.
Call me crazy but I just don’t remember Kerry being such a powerhouse back in 2004 debating President Bush. Then again, it was an uphill battle for any Democrat at that time. Kerry does have the hair to match with Mitt Romney so maybe that alone is an instant qualification.