What was floated yesterday has come to pass. With a 20% chance of rain (that, apparently, despite claims to the contrary, Barack Obama himself could not control), the Democrats have moved the final nomination speech indoors to Time Warner field, a venue just slightly less impressive than the nearly 80K Bank of Americ…er…Panthers stadium, and 100% more likely to stay completely dry.
Democrats today announced that President Barack Obama’s big speech on Thursday night will move from the vast Bank of America stadium to the much-smaller Time Warner indoor arena.
While organisers blamed weather forecasts of lightning, the switch means that Obama has avoided the possibility of having to accept his party’s nomination before a partially-empty stadium. Just hours earlier, officials had been insisting the speech would go ahead in the stadium ‘rain or shine’.
‘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 convention chief Steve Kerrigan.
But convention sources exclusively told the MailOnline on Tuesday that the real reason behind the switch was fears within the Obama campaign that there would be large numbers of empty seats in the 74,000-seater stadium. The Time Warner arena has a capacity of just over 20,000.
While I’m pretty sure the Daily Mail made up their “convention sources,” the notion that Barack Obama’s draw has declined so much that he is unable to repeat his 80K stadium-packing performance of 2008 is a bit too delicious to avoid, particularly since the days before the announcement were filled with stories of an ever-more-desperate campaign giving seats away, first for $3, then for community service, then for free, and then to people they’d bussed in from places that don’t typically have television for a “Panthers game” on a Thursday, then to just giving up entirely and telling local news that the stadium speech would be “less than expected.”
The converse is understandable – after all, why even risk the slightest chance of a potential voter getting drowned by the water that miraculously flies from Obama’s magical self-induced force-field, when you can undertake the logistical nightmare of moving an entire operation to a stadium one third the size less than 24 hours before the main event in a city known for dreary rains that pour from August until March. After all, there was obviously no way to know before now that rain might dampen the crowd. And 20% is definitely an absolute.
And, if Bank of America was full, how do they decide what to do with the extra 50,000 people? Grudge match? And an indoor arena means a balloon drop, which takes weeks to prepare. Someone’s gonna be raiding the Planned Parenthood free condom supply.
A packed 22K seat auditorium makes for a better visual, no doubt, with screaming fans packed to the rafters erupting in applause at ever period and comma, but just how sad is it that Obama can’t repeat his performance at Invesco field? I mean, is there even room for styrofoam Greek columns in Time Warner?