on August 26, 2012 by admin in National News, Comments (0)

Republican National Convention reworking schedule because of Tropical Storm …

Emergency management officials had plans in place to evacuate the city, which is prone to flooding. Heavy rains could bring three to five feet of water.

An opening party set for 5 p.m at Tropicana Field will go forward, as much of the severe weather isn’t expected until early Monday morning. But a Sunday night performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd at the American Action Network Pavilion at Liberty Plaza has been canceled because of concerns about the weather. Convention events were slated to resume Tuesday.

“We are 100 percent full steam ahead on Tuesday,” Republican National Committee Chairman ­Reince Priebus said Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Democrats, who had planned a strong counteroffense, have scrapped some of their plans, too, including a Sunday afternoon press conference with the Democratic National Committee chairwoman and local officials. Vice President Biden also postponed plans to campaign in Florida on Monday and Tuesday.

In 2008, Republicans had to cancel a day of events in Minneapolis as Hurricane Gustav headed toward landfall in the Gulf, and with Republicans scrambling in the days before Mitt Romney is set to officially become his party’s nominee, scrutiny has fallen on the selection committee and former RNC chairman Michael Steele for picking Florida, a state prone to severe weather.

The 12-member committee scouted several cities, including Phoenix and Salt Lake City, but ultimately decided on Tampa because it was the most prepared to handle a convention, which costs some $40 million to host.

Cindy Costa, a South Carolina delegate who was on the selection committee, said that the other cities seemed equivocal during the selection process, and that Florida got the nod in the end on a unanimous vote.

“Everybody was thrilled obviously,” Costa said. “But in the back of your mind you know [severe weather is] a possibility. It’s just one of those imponderable things that you can’t know.”

Even with most severe weather headed elsewhere, convention planners are mindful of the schedule and the specter of holding a big event when another region of the country is dealing with an emergency situation.

Monday’s theme was to be “We Can Do Better,” highlighting the country’s rising debt and lingering joblessness. Scheduled speakers included House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.). The roll-call vote that would make Romney’s nomination official, which was planned for Monday night, will now occur Tuesday.

Heading into Tampa, Romney had been trying to build on the momentum following the largely successful rollout of Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) as his vice presidential running mate. But his task of winning over moderate voters became more challenging last week as a Missouri Senate candidate’s comments on “legitimate rape” and abortion — as well as Romney’s quip Friday about his birth certificate — highlighted the more extreme views within the Republican coalition.

Romney’s advisers have planned an elaborately choreographed convention aimed at presenting him as a successful businessman and compassionate family man. Costa, who was optimistic about the weather Sunday morning, chose to look on the bright side.

“There’s just so much hype around the storm and in ways it could be good for us because all eyes are on Florida now,” she said. “You have to look at the silver lining.”

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-national-convention-reworking-schedule-of-events-because-of-tropical-storm-isaac/2012/08/26/658963f8-ef87-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html

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