His resume reveals involvement in eight presidential campaigns, starting in 1976, focusing particularly on debate preparation.
He played the role of George H.W. Bush in mock debates with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Michael Dukakis in 1988.
In 2000 and 2004, respectively, he assumed the persona of Dick Cheney in practice debates with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards.
For more than 20 times during the 1992 campaign he sparred with Bill Clinton in his debate preparation; in 2008, he assisted Hillary Rodham Clinton as she geared up for a whopping 23 primary debates.
Curious where he stood, Inside the Beltway reached Washington lawyer Robert B. Barnett at his Williams & Connolly office, and while he’s not playing the part of John McCain as Barack Obama underwent three days of preparation for the first presidential debate, at the University of Mississippi, he assured us that he is involved in other capacities. He declined to be specific.
Alan Schroeder, author of “Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV,” and an associate professor at Northeastern University, told this columnist in a telephone interview from Boston: “Barnett probably has been the stand-in debater for more candidates than anyone in history.”
Washington lawyer Greg Craig, a former Clinton administration official, instead had the honor of playing Mr. McCain last week.
Meanwhile, if only for a few hours, prominent black Republican Michael S. Steele, Maryland’s former lieutenant governor, became Mr. Obama as Mr. McCain prepared for the debate.
I did it: Sen. Johnny Isakson accepted some of the blame for the current economic crisis and called on both parties to do the same.