Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Biden help Obama in Florida?

Yesterday I posted Biden on Israel, Pollard, & Zionism. The post contains a video of a brief interview from last April in which Sen. Biden expressed opinions that would be viewed favorably by most Jewish voters.

I said I was surprised Biden’s views as expressed in the video weren’t getting more media attention and analysis.

Today, however, I found the following story – “One place Biden's likely to help Obama is Florida” - with Miami Herald reporters Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark bylined[excerpts]

Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden as a running mate could give the ticket a boost in Florida -- thanks to Biden's ties to South Florida, including support among a cadre of influential Democratic fundraisers. …

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said he talked with Obama last Tuesday and put forth two names: Biden and Clinton.

''He's an excellent choice for Barack in Florida,'' Nelson said of Biden, noting that he ''knows all the players on the world stage,'' but has never lost touch with his working-class roots. …

And Democrats suggested Biden strengthens Obama's foreign policy credentials and could help build trust among Jewish voters who have viewed Obama with some caution.

''Senator Biden will be an especially effective advocate for the Obama-Biden ticket in South Florida given his unwavering support for U.S.-Israel relations...'' said Rep. Robert Wexler, who as Obama's Florida campaign co-chair has sought to assure Jewish voters of Obama's pro-Israel credentials.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a onetime Clinton delegate, said she has been a fan of Biden's since college -- 20 years ago as a member of Students for Biden.

''His foreign policy expertise, his support for Israel and his deep understanding of economic issues make him the perfect choice as Barack Obama's running mate in these times of economic hardship and global strife,'' the Weston Democrat said. …
The entire Miami Herald story’s here.


Polls show Sen. Obama trailing Sen. McCain in Florida by a few percentage points.

I think it’s likely Biden will help Obama with Jewish voters who are already leaning toward Obama. But those voters would likely have wound up in the Obama column anyway.

On the other hand, I’ve read reports of Jewish voters who in the past were solidly Democratic who this time insist they won’t vote for Obama because they don’t see him as a strong supporter of Israel.

Biden will be some help to Obama in Florida among Jewish voters but that doesn't mean Biden will be a net plus for Obama there.

Here's one reason I say that: Obama was already weak among gun-rights advocates. Biden, with his long record of support for restrictions on peaceful citizens' gun-ownership rights, will further weaken Obama among that group.

There are an awful lot of gun-rights advocates in Florida, even if the MSM doesn’t pay much attention to them.

I suspect the help Biden may give Obama in Florida among Jewish voters will be canceled-out or over-matched by losses among gun-rights advocates Obama might have wooed to his side.

IMO the answer to the “Will Biden help in Florida?” question is the answer to this question: “Will Biden help or hurt Obama among Cuban-American voters?”

I don’t have the answer or any informed thoughts right now. I also couldn’t find anything on the question on the Net.

How about you?


Anonymous said...

Biden has been a supporter of Zionism for years, but in the real world of Democrat politics, that could be the kiss of death. St. Barack's strength in the primaries was vested in the hard left elements of the party. Those voters in general fall in the "sympathetic-to-the-Palestineans" category, and repeated overtures to Jewish voters in the U.S. will probably result in the loss of more far left support than the ticket could hope to gain from Zionist Americans. This is a quandary for progressives today and it will be most entertaining to see it play out. As for support from the Cuban populace in Florida, I can't see anything the Democrat ticket has to offer them. Other Hispanophonic voters may support the ticket, but probably not the Cubans.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

John -

Dittos to TH. As for trusting Biden on anything, see what Clarence Thomas said about Biden's dissembling to him before the hearings about the questions he would put to him.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

I heard Biden referred to this morning as the most annoying member of the Senate. With his seniority, ask yourself why he never ran for majority/minority leader.