It looks as if Hurricane Isaac was not content to only muddle convention planning for Republicans in Tampa, Fla. Now, Democrats have to contend with what remains of the storm as the residual moisture moves eastward over the next few days.
Hopefully, journalists and others partaking in both party conventions are keeping the raincoats and galoshes they brought to Tampa handy, just in case they encounter more wet conditions in Charlotte, N.C. Any rain and thunder could also remind convention-goers and the television audience of the ongoing recovery efforts in the communities hit hardest by Isaac along the Gulf Coast.
The weather forecast in North Carolina calls for humid days and the chance of scattered thunderstorms throughout the week. That’s nothing like the conditions faced by those in the path of Isaac as the storm passed on its way to making landfall in Louisiana.
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had one advantage for his acceptance speech, however, that President Barack Obama does not: a roof.
Romney accepted his party’s nomination at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the indoor space that serves as home to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. That space seats about 20,000 – roughly the same number as the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte that will host the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday and Wednesday.
When Obama formally accepts the Democratic nomination for a second term as president Thursday, though, the plan is to move the convention outdoors in a reprise of four years ago in Denver. Obama is set to deliver his speech at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers.
The move lets many more Obama supporters attend than the delegates in the convention hall because the open-air football stadium can seat about 74,000 people. Convention organizers also plan a variety of musical performances at the stadium that night — from James Taylor to Mary J. Blige to the Foo Fighters.
Still, the gamble on the outdoor venue means an ill-positioned scattered thundershower could quite literally rain on the parade.