President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is—jokingly—building up expectations for Mitt Romney as the candidates head Thursday to an annual dinner where featured speakers are expected to at least try to be funny.
"I will say Mitt Romney has practiced for longer than any presidential candidate in history for tonight. We expect him to be drop-on-the-floor funny," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One, dryly parodying her own pre-presidential debate comments. "The president will make his way through."
The event in question is the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Obama and Romney are the headline speakers this year—something of a tradition in presidential election cycles.
Both candidates can be a bit stiff—Obama has that professorial streak, while Romney can sometimes go a little deep into his numbers. But they also have writers who can help loosen up their rhetoric. (This reporter is an avowed "mirther"—a believer that Romney is reliably, intentionally funny.)
Before the dinner, Obama will visit Jon Stewart for a taping of "The Daily Show."