Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.
Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during their opponent’s nominating celebration, but Democrats are throwing those rules out the window in an attempt to spoil Mitt Romney’s coronation as the GOP nominee.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events next week to counter-program the Republican gathering in Tampa, Fla.
Even first lady Michelle Obama is in on the act, scheduling an appearance on the “David Letterman Show” smack in the middle of Romney’s nominating bash.
“Traditionally, there was a kind of courtesy extended to the party having the convention — the [other] party would basically stay out of the public eye,” said Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University.
But that “gentlemen’s agreement,” Baker said, has been largely abandoned as “a consequence of the polarization of American politics.” He characterized the old tradition as a “quaint code of etiquette” destined to become a “remnant of the 20th century.”