Been speculated for the last couple of days that they would do this, but they made it official this morning:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. President Barack Obama will now deliver his nomination speech Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena because of concerns about severe weather, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced on Wednesday.
“We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, therefore we have decided to move Thursday’s proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests,” said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan. The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the President in person. We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history.”
On Tuesday, DNCC officials confirmed the arena was a backup site for Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday if bad weather forced a move from Bank of America Stadium.
A move to the smaller arena venue could prove to be a logistical headache for the event organizers, who have not said where the overflow of people would go.
Campaign officials had distributed thousands of community credentials, and then ran out of them, but did not state a specific number. The DNCC expects 65,000 to attend the stadium speech, including delegates, guests and community credential holders. The arena has 15,000 seats for the DNC, organizers have said.
I’m not buying the weather excuse,even though it has rained off and on here throughout the week. I’m also REALLY not buying the “DNCC expects 65,000 to attend” assertion, because after the initial wave of ticket distribution, numerous sources reported that they have not been able to GIVE the tickets away. Not only that, but would they REALLY move the speech to a much smaller venue if they thought that many would be attending it? They have NO “overflow” plan, and guess what a nightmare tomorrow would be with people trying to be among the lucky few who get to get into the arena? Notice they say organizers “expect” 65,000 to attend – not “organizers gave away xyz number of tickets” … do they really not know how many tickets were distributed?
Plus, but most of the people who have attended this convention already believe Obama walks on water and would gladly sit in the rain to hear him speak, and surely the logistics of giving him a covered area in which to speak would be easier than moving “65,000″??
The likely explanation for this, which the DNCC would never give out, is that the empty seats you would have seen (BOA stadium capacity is a little over 73,000) the night of the speech would have been a political embarrassment for POTUS, not to mention an egotistical blow personally for The One. Better to make it look like he has a ton of support from rank and file Democrats than to reveal to America how much even that support has dropped off.
Moving right along …