Presidential Debates

John Kerry to play Romney in Obama debate prep

Mitt Romney and John Kerry


CBS News

President Obama has recruited Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to play the part of Mitt Romney in mock debates ahead of the three presidential debates in October, the Obama campaign has confirmed to CBS News.

The Washington Post first reported the news. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, told the Post that Kerry was an “obvious choice.”

“There is no one that has more experience or understanding of the presidential debate process than John Kerry,” he said. “He’s an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts.”

Many political observers (including this one) have noted the similarities between Kerry, the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2004, and Romney. Both men are extremely wealthy, arguably somewhat-awkward Massachusetts politicians with great hair, strong links to the political establishment and a reputation for flip-flopping. Like Kerry, Romney had to overcome primary challenges from rivals who appealed more directly to his party’s base. Like Romney, Kerry reached the general election in large part because he was seen as the most electable option, not necessarily the most inspiring one.

Perhaps more importantly, Kerry is intimately familiar with the record and rhetoric of the former Massachusetts governor and Senate candidate. He is also widely seen as a strong debater: Kerry performed well in his debates against former President George W. Bush in 2004, and the Post notes that he was a “star debater” at Yale University.

Romney has not yet tapped a stand-in for Mr. Obama in his mock debates. In the 2008 campaign, Sen. John McCain’s stand-in for Mr. Obama was Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) – who is now seen as one of the leading contenders to be Romney’s running mate.

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Dream Act

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Arrests 6-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant

This is insane…

Think Progress

Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona Sheriff from Maricaopa County, arrested a 6-year-old undocumented immigrant on Friday. The move came the same day President Obama announced a new policy halting deportations for young undocumented immigrants.

The Arizona Republic has the story:

The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

“She’s been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she’s from. She told us she’s from El Salvador. That’s what she told us,” he said.

The arrest took place Friday night at an undisclosed location in northern Maricopa County…

The sheriff said his deputies arresting child suspected of being an illegal immigrant the same day Obama implemented the policy is a coincidence. But if more illegal children enter the country after hearing about the new policy, Arpaio said it may not be by happenstance.

“Are we going to get more of these situations where illegals feel like now they’re going to be safe? I don’t know,” he said.

Immediately following the President’s announcement Arpaio told a local ABC affiliate that it would not impact his approach toward young undocumented immigrants. “They will still be arrested,” he said.

Arpaio is currently being sued by the Department of Justice for mulitple civil rights violations. He also admitted to using taxpayer resources to pursue an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, a widely debunked conspiracy theory.

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