Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 05:07:37 PM EDT
Mark Halperin today reports that the former President will campaign on behalf of Barack Obama on September 29.
A couple thoughts. First, someone said to me at the convention, and it sounded quite apt -- particularly by that Wednesday night -- that the Clintons are masters of managing expectations. The speeches by both Bill and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention seemed so much more important, meaningful, memorable and effective because the media obsessed over whether the speeches would be sufficiently supportive (which they were, and then some). Bill Clinton campaigning on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket is bigger news because of the speculation over if, when and where he would do so. There is no doubt that the Florida event will be huge.
Second, the choice of Florida was not accidental. As I noted earlier this week, there is real reason to believe that Florida is more on the map today than it had previously been -- perhaps even since the outset of the general election. In short, the pick of Sarah Palin throws a serious wrench into Republican efforts to woo Jewish voters, who make up an important bloc within the Florida electorate, and the race overall in the state has tightened to the point that the McCain campaign has now abandoned its strategy of not advertising in the state. Having the former President, who is popular in the state -- he carried it in 1996, and narrowly lost it in 1992 -- campaign in Florida could provide Obama with just the extra boost he needs to get an edge.