‘BUSH 44’…. I’ve had a few emails lately asking, “Where’s Joe Biden?” It’s not an unreasonable question; we haven’t heard much from the Democratic vice presidential nominee lately. That’s not necessarily his fault — he’s been on the campaign trail, doing what running mates do — but there’s only so much media oxygen out there, and Biden has been left gasping for air.

Biden hopes to change this dynamic, at least a bit, with a big speech today that the Obama campaign has been touting pretty heavily.

Joe Biden will deliver a high-profile address intended as the first attack in a sustained anti-McCain offensive in a speech called “Bush 44” he’ll deliver Monday in the key battleground state of Michigan.

While the lines of attack have long been drawn, Biden will assert — as the title indicates — that a McCain presidency would amount to a third Bush term and will focus, in a detailed, comprehensive and aggressive way, on John McCain’s domestic policies and harsh campaign tactics, a campaign aide told Politico.

Biden will deliver the speech in St. Clair Shores, Mich., which is located in Macomb County, the area whose voters inspired Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg to coin the term “Reagan Democrats.” The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Barack Obama with a 2-point lead in Michigan, which Democrats won by slim margins in the last two elections.

The speech is touted as matching the aggressive new strategy the Obama campaign has promised to unleash in the remaining days of the campaign to counter the recent poll gains of McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

According to excerpts released by the campaign, Biden will tell Michigan voters, “We’ve seen this movie before, folks. But as everyone knows, the sequel is always worse than the original. If we forget this history, we’re going to be doomed to repeat it — with four more just like the last eight, or worse…. The campaign a person runs says everything about the way they’ll govern. John McCain has decided to bet the house on the politics perfected by Karl Rove. Those tactics may be good at squeaking by in an election but they are bad if you want to lead one nation, indivisible.”

Of course, over the last couple of weeks, Biden has been competing with Sarah Palin for media attention. Today, he’ll be competing with a Wall Street crisis. We’ll see how it goes.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.