Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.
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Filler: Hurricane Isaac shoos Joe Biden out of Tampa, a lucky break
TAMPA -- The threat of Hurricane Isaac splatting Tampa and the Republican National Convention may have done the Democrats a favor, not because it kiboshed the first day of the proceedings, but because it short-circuited a bad Democratic plan.
As the weather bore down, Vice President Joe Biden canceled a two-day swing through Florida that would have included a stop in Tampa to bash Republicans and try to steal their convention thunder. The stop would have made him the first vice president in history to bash the opponents in their convention city while the party was ongoing.
I think doing that would have made Biden and the Democrats look small. Worse, it would have made the politics of our nation appear even pettier than they already do.
Add to that the fact that Biden is a gaffe machine and the Democrats are far better off having scrapped the whole idea.
To plan a convention visit to bash the other side feeds into the idea that there’s absolutely nothing your opponents could ever say or do that would have credence or value. It means, “We’re going to insult and trash every single thing they say, no matter what they say, and we know this before the words even come out of their mouths.”
I guess it’s naive to act as if that’s not where things already stand, no matter whether the bashing comes from the same city as the convention or a different one, but it’s sad and silly. And for voters who believe both parties have ideas of merit, it’s a complete turnoff to the whole process.
Isaac likely didn’t bring a whole lot of positive to Tampa, but at least in this case, it slowed down the negative.