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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Does Gallagher pal Biden help in FL?



DENVER — Forget the buzz about John McCain as the new Bob Dole, and especially the talk that Democrats have a lock on the White House.

This week the presidential race really begins, and as Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic nomination in Denver, his election looks anything but inevitable. Recent conventional wisdom that the GOP faced an insurmountable head wind has given way to a dead heat and widespread anxiety among Democrats wondering why their candidate isn't comfortably in the lead.

"I don't think the race is so much about the political climate," said Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, whose Panhandle district President Bush won by nearly 20 points in 2004. "I think it's really about Barack Obama and John McCain.'' Obama tory here.

Popular among seniors and Jewish voters, Biden could be helpful to Obama in Florida and in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio where Obama struggled during the primaries. "The Jewish community loves Joe Biden," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who also touted Biden's working-class appeal. "He has been a huge supporter of Israel and has been so in a very erudite fashion, because he knows all the players, not only in Israel but in the Palestinian Authority."

Biden has extensive Florida connections, including a brother who lived in South Florida; Michael Adler of Miami, his former national finance chairman and the former National Jewish Democratic Council chairman; Luis Navarro, his Senate chief of staff, who used to be executive director of the Florida Democratic Party; and even a lifelong friendship with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher. Biden Story here.

Btw, Gallagher had zero interest in talking to Buzz about Biden. They two grew up near each other as kids and have kept in touch over the years.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:09am]


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