It started with a rumor that the Secret Service is in Tampa, Florida, this week, laying the groundwork for a visit from Vice President Joe Biden during the Republican National Convention.Then the VP himself cracked a joke in Minneapolis, asking reporters if any of them were going to be in Florida next week because, “I’m the speaker at the convention.I’m gonna be down there.”
Tuesday, the Obama campaign confirmed the reports: Joe Biden will be campaigning in Tampa during the opening of the big GOP nominating fest. Some GOP supporters are practically wailing, “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” with the main whinger being The Washington Times. In a headline, the paper laments that the move shows “a lack of class” and further states that the political one-upmanship between the parties “comes at an extremely inconvenient time.” Well, isn’t that the point?
Not everyone is so negative, however. Political campaigns have a history of trying to steal each others thunder during conventions. According to YahooNews!, GOP spokesman Tim Miller said, “We’re excited to have him,” because “Biden’s inevitable gaffes will only serve to further highlight the contrast voters face.”
Whether Biden can really come up with gaffes big enough to overshadow the Republicans’ current stink over rape and pregnancy remains to be seen, but he isn’t the only show that will perform outside of the Tampa Bay Times Forum next week. Ron Paul’s supporters are holding a major rally of their own and have threatened to disrupt the Republican proceedings if not given a more visible role. They have a reputation for being numerous, noisy, and disruptive. Then there’s Tropical Depression Nine, currently hovering offshore, but likely to hit Tampa during the convention.
A three-ring circus is threatening to develop outside of the Forum, the least chaotic of which is Joe Biden. After all, who can be upset with a guy whose gaffes are so self-deprecating that he once said, “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me,” or more recently, “My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be Vice President!”
The contrast that Biden is likely to highlight in Tampa may be one that Republicans don’t really want to make. The Vice President possesses a charm that comes with humility. Romney and Ryan? Not so much.
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