Biden nixes Tampa trip because of Tropical Storm Isaac

Looks like Vice President Biden won't be a party crasher after all.

With local and state authorities scrambling to prepare for the possible affects of Tropical Storm Isaac, the Obama campaign announced late Friday that Biden will not visit Tampa Monday to provide what would have been political counter-programming in the host city of the Republican National Convention.

A significant weather event -- at least the eastern edges of Isaac -- is likely to cause high winds and rain in the Tampa Bay area beginning as early as Sunday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center. With the physical threat to the city and an expected 50,000 visitors, GOP convention planners will have to assess whether to tone down parties or cancel events out of respect to other communities experiencing the storm.

So throwing in a visit by the vice president, which requires a significant use of local law enforcement and federal authorities, would only add to the mix.

Therefore, Biden's change in schedule "is being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enforcement and emergency management resources can stay focused on ensuring the safety of people who might be impacted by the storm, as well as those attending the activities in Tampa," the Obama campaign said in a statement late Friday.

Despite Monday's cancellation, plans for Biden to travel Tuesday to Orlando and St. Augustine are still scheduled, but "subject to change due to weather-related precautions."

UPDATE: Biden subsequently also canceled his Florida plans for Tuesday.

 

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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