Vice President Joe Biden couldn’t have picked a better spot Monday to make an election-year pitch: The new Marlins Park baseball stadium, site of Cypress Bay High School’s 2012 graduation ceremony.

“As a kid, this was my dream, standing at home plate at a major league ballpark. Not as a speaker, but as a batter,” he told the graduating class of 2012. “But I had to settle on being vice president.”

Biden hailed Cypress Bay, one of the newest, biggest and best high schools in Florida. He sounded optimistic notes about the brightness of the future and the need for tolerance in a global village wired ever tighter by technological advancement.

“You are going to lead those changes as you leave this school, so don’t sell yourself short,” Biden said. “Don’t think small. Don’t give into cynicism, don’t give into the negativity that pervades our public discourse. And imagine.”

Though the speech wasn’t overtly political, Biden’s presence underscores the importance of Florida and, particularly, Democrat-heavy South Florida.

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