Joe Biden scraps plan to crash GOP party as Isaac storm takes aim
|Tropical Storm Isaac won’t stop the GOP from nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for the presidential ticket. But the potential hurricane’s approach did cause the White House to scrap Vice President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Tampa for the convention’s opening day on Monday.|
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To be sure, in the good old days, crashing the other party’s big parade was considered ungentlemanly. But not today, according to Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist quoted by the Hill’s Mike Lillis. Given today’s polarized electorate and frenzied media environment, the idea that each party would let the other lay out its plank in peace has become a “quaint code of etiquette” relegated to the last century, Mr. Baker said.Skip to next paragraph
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To be sure, the Democrats’ arm-waving will go on. President Obama has several big media events scheduled for next week, and Michelle Obama is slotted to be on Letterman the night of Romney’s big speech. And Biden may still make it to Tampa, as the White House left his exact plans open and contingent on what the storm does over the next few days.
Last week, Biden made light of his trip when he spoke to national reporters tailing him in Michigan. "Any of you going to Florida?" Biden asked. "I'm the speaker at the convention. I'm going to be down there.”
Dispatching Biden to the heart of the opposition camp had the potential to reap rewards, but political observers said it was also a risky move. The voluble Biden was excoriated from myriad corners of the political spectrum – though supported by the Obama campaign – after he recently swayed into a Southern accent and told a largely black Virginia audience that, if elected, Romney and Paul were “gonna put ya’ll in chains.” Critics said it was an obvious allusion to slavery, but Biden’s aides said it referred to Romney’s plans for banking regulations.
Of course, Republicans have set up their own “war room” in Charlotte, N.C., ahead of the Democratic National Convention, but have not said whether they’ll dispatch someone as high profile as Biden to crash that party. Four years ago, Romney himself traveled to Denver and spoke at an event there – a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor – as the Democrats began nominating Obama and Biden for the presidency.