For all President Obama’s rhetorical gifts — and despite the fact that he was widely viewed as the winner of all three presidential debates in 2008 — Democrats appear to be engaged in a campaign of expectation-managing ahead of the upcoming matchups between Obama and Mitt Romney. Indeed, as the president’s press team to his debate prep partern John Kerry would have it, Romney is a veritable reincarnation of one of history’s greatest debaters, Abraham Lincoln himself.

Here’s John Kerry opining on Romney’s “mad skillz” at the podium (h/t Erika Johnsen):