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Is Obama doing Mitt Romney a favor by sending Joe Biden to Tampa?
The vice president plans to break with tradition and crash the GOP's party with a campaign stop in the city just as the Republican convention opens
 
Vice President Biden will try to siphon some attention away from the GOP by campaigning in Tampa on the first day of the party's presidential nominating convention.
Vice President Biden will try to siphon some attention away from the GOP by campaigning in Tampa on the first day of the party's presidential nominating convention.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In an unprecedented move, Vice President Joe Biden plans to campaign in Tampa on Monday as the GOP kicks off its presidential nominating convention there. Traditionally, presidential campaigns keep a low profile while the rival party's delegates converge, so any overt attempt to upstage the run-up to the nomination of Mitt Romney and his GOP running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, would likely be seen as an aggressive ploy. Will this help Team Obama to cut into any bounce in the polls Romney will get from his tightly scripted coronation, or will crashing the GOP's party backfire?

Sending Biden to Tampa is a huge mistake: 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.
"Obama to upstage GOP convention by unleashing garrulous idiot on Tampa"

This takes convention counterprogramming to a new level: Team Obama isn't breaking the rules, just bending them, says George Bennett at The Palm Beach Post. Both parties routinely send "high-profile surrogates" to the opponent's convention to counter the spin. Team Obama is just taking this tactic to a new level. Biden will have a better chance than some lesser known Obama supporter to really "siphon some attention" from Romney's big moment.
"Bracketology: Joe Biden coming to Tampa area during GOP convention"

It could work, but it's a gamble: "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.
"Joe Biden, convention crasher"

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

 

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