CHARLOTTE, NC - In fairness, Weather.com does forecast a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms tomorrow night, but I was told by convention organizers just yesterday that if it were just an issue of rain, the show would go on as planned. Alas, the fractional threat of thunderstorms -- and more alarmingly for Team Obama, empty seats -- forced the DNC to pull the plug:
President Obama's acceptance speech has been moved from the Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, Democrats announced Wednesday. Democrats blamed "severe weather forecasts" for the move to the smaller, indoor arena from the larger outdoor stadium. Thunderstorms are forecast on Thursday for Charlotte. The announcement comes after Obama campaign officials insisted the speech would go forward in the stadium "rain or shine." The stadium speech was meant to recall Obama's 2008 address in Denver, when he closed a largely successful convention with a speech to supporters at Invesco Field. Republicans took glee in the decision, and expressed doubt that the weather was the real reason for the venue switch. There have been questions as to whether Democrats could fill the football stadium, which holds 73,000 seats, and the GOP was quick to argue that the real reason for moving Obama's speech was a lack of enthusiasm for the president this election cycle.
Democrats insist this call was based purely on the threat of severe weather, but they've tipped their hand about attendance concerns over the last few days. It looks like 22,000 cheering Obama acolytes will have to suffice. Sad day. The good news for the Obama campaign is that they no longer have to continue the charade of calling a venue named after Bank of America "Panthers Stadium" in order to avoid some political awkwardness. Wouldn't want to remind people which candidate received the most Wall Street cash in 2008, would we? Remember, this convention is special and unique because its righteous planners refused to take corporate money on principle -- except when they didn't. Parting thought, just tweeted out by a local news anchor here in Charlotte:
RT@wxbrad: It's a simple question.. if you had a
#Panthers game, Concert or Soccer match with a 20% chance of storms would you cancel 24hrs prior?
UPDATE - I think we know what's going on here:
We're not in 2008 anymore, Toto.