The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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