Sen. Judd Gregg may again play President Bush's opponent during fall debate practices, according to GOP strategists. Gregg played Al Gore in 2000 and the New Englander would be a good pick again to play Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, say the strategists. The Bush campaign, however, would not reveal any details of its debate planning. Associates of Bush and Gregg say that the President has a close and easy relationship with Gregg who, like Bush, comes from a political family. One reason the Bush family likes the New Hampshire senator is because he doesn't feel intimidated around the President and is very closed-mouth about their meetings. The Manchester Union Leader this week put it this way: "Bush has joked that Gregg, the President's mother, Barbara, and the family dog Barney are the only ones who don't get nervous when they enter the Oval Office."
Cheney Reveals Who Will Play Edwards In Debate Prep.
Vice President Dick Cheney this morning told the Ohio Republican National Convention delegation that Ohio Rep. Rob Portman will play Sen. John Edwards in the debate practices. The announcement was just the latest indication of how important Ohio is to the Bush-Cheney strategy and how influential Portman has become over the last four years. Portman is the administration's liaison to the White House and is considered a candidate for White House chief of staff. Portman played Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2000 debate practice sessions and even played Al Gore in one with Bush."