WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama will turn to another tall politician from Massachusetts to play his Republican rival Mitt Romney when he rehearses for this year's presidential campaign debates: Democratic US Senator John Kerry.

Kerry is a veteran of presidential election debates, after narrowly losing the 2004 election to Republican George W. Bush, the incumbent. He is considered one of the Democratic Party's best debaters.

A source familiar with Kerry's role confirmed he had been tapped to help Obama prepare for his three debates against Romney this autumn, after The Washington Post reported the campaign's plan on Monday.

Kerry is the senior senator from Massachusetts, where Romney was governor from 2003 to 2007, and served as a surrogate for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, when he defeated Romney in the 1994 US Senate race.

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