Is the Obama Campaign Chickening Out By Cancelling Biden Tampa Trip?

When it was announced that Vice President Biden would be in Tampa the same time that the GOP convention was underway, some political pundits were shocked by the break with tradition. Previously, it was usual for the opposition party to keep their heads down while convention speakers were enthusiastically tossing rhetorical bombs their way. It was also seen as a traditional courtesy not to try to upstage the opposition during their once-every-four-year confab.


But as we’ve seen from the Obama campaign, they vouchsafe Mr. Romney very little in the way of “courtesy.”And while the opposition usually sends surrogates to their rival’s convention, never has a campaign sent such a high profile surrogate as a sitting vice president. The Week asks, “Is Obama Doing Mitt Romney a Favor by Sending Biden to Tampa?”

It takes a lot to step on the other party’s convention,” says Alexander Burns at Politico. Sending in a sitting vice president might be just what Team Obama needs to do to steal some headlines and counter Romney’s message. But “it’s not a risk-free exercise.” Whether this works or backfires depends on what Biden says, and how it’s received.

Allahpundit points out that if Biden gets any attention, it will be because the gaffe-prone Democrat said something outrageous:

The Obama campaign is doing Romney a favor, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. Biden is a gaffe machine and a clown. If he does steal any of Romney’s limelight, it will be by doing something that embarrasses his own ticket, like making an appeal for Cuban-American votes using a “fakey Latino accent.” And if clueless Joe does manage to taint Romney’s show, Obama should brace himself. “There will be reprisals” at his convention.

Perhaps the prospect of Biden mucking things up by saying something stupid has given the Obama campaign cold feet. They now say that Biden won’t be in Tampa on Monday.



Vice President Joe Biden on Friday postponed a campaign trip to Tampa, Florida that had been scheduled for next week on the same day as Republicans open their presidential nominating convention in the city.

An Obama campaign announcement said Biden will not attend events on Monday in Tampa, where the Republican National Convention is being held, due to security concerns.

The campaign said it wants to ensure that all emergency resources are focused on Tropical Storm Isaac, which could impact Florida during the convention.

“This change in schedule is being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enforcement and emergency management resources can stay focused,” the campaign said in a press release.

If this were true, why didn’t they cancel the Veeps Tuesday stop in Orlando, also under a hurricane watch for Isaac?

I think they were worried about the backlash as well as terrified of what Biden might say in some unscripted moment.


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