The advent of super PACS and nonstop ads playing in swing states over the summer “has frontloaded the entire campaign insurgency, because no one wants to let their foot off the pedal in terms of keeping up the drumbeat for their viewpoint,” says Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida.
Here in Tampa, a deep roster of well-known Democrats have been chatting up reporters, holding press conferences, and even infiltrating the Tampa Bay Times Forum (“There were a lot of double-takes,” former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reportedly said afterward).
Mr. Gibbs is one of the most familiar Democratic faces hiding amid the hordes of Republican ones in Tampa, but he’s far from alone. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is here too, as is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Obama’s campaign cochair, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who will be the stand-in for the GOP vice presidential nominee in Biden’s debate preparations.