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September 05, 2012 11:53 AM Change of Venue

By Ed Kilgore

As you have probably heard by now, the Democratic Convention managers have officially announced that due to thunderstorm forecasts, tomorrow night’s planned Obama acceptance speech at 75,000-seat Bank of America Stadium will be moved indoors to the Time Warner Cable Arena, the 21,000-seat venue where the rest of the Convention is taking place.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in an outdoor sports arena when thunderstorms or high winds appeared, but it can be a scary experience. I was once at a Braves game at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on a hot summer evening when large clouds began collecting and then rotating directly over the field, and without any prompting from the umps, the players stopped and stared, along with all of us in the stands, at the sky, half-expecting a funnel cloud to drop right in. Turned out all we endured was a gully-washing rain, but it was alarming nonetheless.

So when Republicans offer their unsubstantiated claims that the weather is an excuse for cancelling a venue organizers might not have filled, keep in mind what would have happened had Democrats brought 75,000 people (or less, if the weather kept some people home or stuck in traffic) into a violent storm without shelter.

If Denver ‘08 was the model for the planned event, disappointed would-be attendees will miss not only the chance for a soaking or worse, but some serious calluses. My hotel was within spitting distance of Invesco Field, but the security scheme required an endless walk to and from the stadium, with queues routed all over downtown Denver, or so it seemed.

For the locals, the Obama campaign is currently planning enough North Carolina rallies down the home stretch to accommodate anyone turned away tomorrow night several times over.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Stetson Kennedy on September 05, 2012 12:11 PM:

    I was at a Giant football game, with punter Jeff Feagles back to kick, and a bolt of lightning hit the parking lot directly behind him. Everybody, and I mean everybody, on both kicking teams immediately bolted for the nearest gate. It was pretty funny to see big, tough NFL players react like that.

    Unlike the GOP reactions to this rescheduling. That was totally predictable. As will be their reaction to Clinton's speech. They will find the smallest nugget of the speech and claim it was Clinton's way of endorsing Empty Suit Mitt.

    Oh...and Captcha sucks.

  • TCinLA on September 05, 2012 12:15 PM:

    Too bad they couldn't have gotten a "weather warning" a year ago and taken the convention out of the goddamned worthless useless South and set it up some place that wasn't a slap in the face to everyone who ever worked to build the modern Democratic Party (other than the "Democrats" on Wall Street, who love non-union venues).

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on September 05, 2012 12:18 PM:

    keep in mind what would have happened had Democrats brought 75,000 people (or less, if the weather kept some people home or stuck in traffic) into a violent storm without shelter.

    Yeah, I can hear the Huckabee's and Santorum's and Westboro's waxing poetic in the most apocalyptic of terms about how it would be God's wrath against the librul Sodom and Gommorah...

  • BillFromPA on September 05, 2012 12:28 PM:

    I'm guessing the fee for the outdoor venue has been paid. Why not open the outdoor site to those not able to fit the indoor site first, then open it to those who can show proof of Dem registration, putting the speeches on a JumboTron. I'm sure, weather be damned, it'll fill to capacity, humiliating the repugs who are selling this foolish crap. What a show of solidarity it would be.

  • c u n d gulag on September 05, 2012 12:28 PM:

    All this means, is that Liberals and Democrats are smart enough to come in from the rain.

    Only 'idiot's love the wind.'
    Just as Bob Dylan's song.

    Oh, and Conservatives. They're tough guys and gals - remember?

  • POed Lib on September 05, 2012 12:29 PM:

    I don't agree with putting the speech in an outdoor venue in the first place. Yes, they did it last year, but there are so many variables when you move outdoors. Should have had it in the indoor venue from the start.

    Again, this is a Rove-attack to make up for the HUGE ROMNEY FAIL in Detroit Stadium, where he gave a speech with 76,820 empty seats in a 77,000 seat auditorium.

  • Ron Byers on September 05, 2012 12:34 PM:

    Whether or not it is true that the party moved the event because of the weather Jay Leno had a couple of successful jokes about the Democrats choice of the Bank of America Stadium and the Time Warner Cable Arena. Neither company is particularly fond of union workers.

  • Qalice on September 05, 2012 12:36 PM:

    "So when Republicans offer their unsubstantiated claims that the weather is an excuse for cancelling a venue organizers might not have filled" -- you know this, but I think it bears repeating often: Republicans will attack us for any reason at any time. They gleefully make stuff up out of thin air to attack us. They attack daily, and they repeat attacks regardless of anything remotely resembling substance. If we had a functioning news media, no one would take this any more seriously than dogs barking ... but here we are.

  • Varecia on September 05, 2012 12:53 PM:

    "...So when Republicans offer their unsubstantiated claims that the weather is an excuse for cancelling a venue organizers might not have filled,..."

    Based on their tendency to deliberately reframe the world in terms of 'up is really down,' and 'bad is really good,' I take this as a very unmistakeable sign that they are SCARED SHITLESS!

  • Varecia on September 05, 2012 12:57 PM:

    TCinLA on September 05, 2012 12:15 PM:

    "Too bad they couldn't have gotten a "weather warning" a year ago and taken the convention out of the goddamned worthless useless South and set it up some place that wasn't a slap in the face to everyone who ever worked to build the modern Democratic Party (other than the "Democrats" on Wall Street, who love non-union venues)."

    Easy, stormy. I think there is a lot of evidence that Democrats in the south paid their dues to the building of the party.

  • T2 on September 05, 2012 12:57 PM:

    it's come to this for the GOP - weather forces a speech indoors and they use it for political gain. They cannot run on their policies because those policies have and will fail. So they use what they can. I'm sure if they can spot one chair empty at Obama's speech they'll make a big deal out of that, too.
    These conventions are kinda stupid, but one thing they accomplish is a nice snapshot of what the two parties really are. One is just white people, the other is a rainbow of cultures and races. Make of that what you will.

  • Anonymous on September 05, 2012 1:57 PM:

    IMO, this will be a net plus. Even given good weather, I think the stadium was a bad idea. There was, of course, the devastating possibility of not filling it -- unlikely, imo, but real. But I think it failed on optics, regardless, since it played up the cult of the personality angle.

    I hope he fills every stadium in sight during the rest of the campaign because I think that really rattles the right. Seeing him pull in 75 or 100 thousand people freaked them out. I want to see more of that, but not this week.

    p.s. I love you Captcha, don't ever change.

  • T2 on September 05, 2012 2:28 PM:

    PLEASE, PLEASE Ed, go back in the file and find the photo of Romney during the primary...where he booked a huge stadium and ended up with folding chairs in the middle of the baseball field - stands empty......put that picture on the wire.

  • Jay C on September 05, 2012 2:34 PM:

    @T2:

    I'm sure if they can spot one chair empty at Obama's speech they'll make a big deal out of that, too.

    Clint Eastwood's??

  • Celui on September 05, 2012 3:26 PM:

    Gee, guys, all the very cogent points above about outdoor arenas in times of bad weather, union vs non-union environments, solid Democratic Party surroundings--all that might have been moot this convention were taking place in St. Louis (runner-up in the Demo Convo sweeps). We've got a pretty good convention center under roof, with hospitality to boot, and some fine restaurants, too. Besides, then I could have ridden the MetroLink downtown to hear the speeches in person. Maybe next year...... {is there any way to get better Crapcha configurations? these are more than just nonsense}

  • zandru on September 05, 2012 7:00 PM:

    @TCinLA: I have to admit, I'm with you on this one. Why not a good Democratic manufacturing city, with union jobs and racial diversity? Why not Milwaukee? Why not St. Paul? Or, for overall natural beauty and high tech, how about Albuquerque? At least SOMETHING north of the Mason-Dixon.

  • agentX on September 05, 2012 9:48 PM:

    It would have been fun to do it outside. But I agree with the decision to move it indoors.
    Knowing my luck, lightning would strike my ass first.
    *Obama takes the stage*
    Me: Yes! OBAMA! OBA *ZZZAAAPPPP* GRAKSCKKC!!!

    And my hilarious death would be featured on Lunch Buffet.