Breaking: Obama speech moved indoors due to … weather; Update: Obama tried downplaying attendance expectations

posted at 10:31 am on September 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It’s official now — Barack Obama’s acceptance speech tomorrow night won’t take place in The Stadium Whose Real Name Shall Not Be Mentioned.  Instead of the 73,000-seat venue, the DNC has opted to move Obama back indoors, where they only need to fill 20,000 seats.  The campaign blames incoming weather, but CBS sounds a little skeptical:

 Democrats are significantly downsizing the final night of their national convention, moving the events — including President Obama’s acceptance speech — from Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena because of threats of thunder and lightning.

Mr. Obama was slated to accept the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night in the open-air football stadium before a crowd of more than 60,000. The basketball and hockey arena, however, seats just around 20,000.

National Journal also notes the political benefits of using a much smaller venue for Obama:

  • “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 Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan.
  • Moving Obama to the much smaller Time Warner Arena, which holds about 22,000, could be seen as something of a political letdown after Obama accepted his party’s nomination in 2008 at Denver’s Invesco Field. But organizers also feared the possiblity of televised images of Obama speaking to a half-empty stadium.

So does The Hill:

The Time Warner Cable Arena, where the Democratic National Convention has been taking place all this week, is a much smaller venue.

It holds less than half the amount of people the stadium does — 22,000 to the stadium’s 73,000 — and Obama will address those with stadium credentials in a conference call Thursday, the committee said.

But the move will also raise questions as there has been speculation Democrats would be unable to fill all the stadium seats. Party officials had arranged for bus loads of supporters to be brought in for the occasion.

Not for nothing, but the weather forecast for tomorrow night at Weather.com looks rather … normal for Charlotte.  While it’s true that the weather service predicts thunderstorms tomorrow, they also predict that those will have passed by 10 pm ET tomorrow, before Obama would have taken the stage.  By 4 pm ET, the prediction for “scattered thunderstorms” drops to “isolated thunderstorms,” and the precipitation chance drops from 40% to 30%.

It looks more like the attendance forecast was partly gloomy, with a large chance of Eastwooding at Bank of America Stadium.

Update: Brad Panovich, an anchor at local TV station WCNC, asks a pretty good question:

I’d guess the answer would be no.  Then again, I’ve never heard that the Carolina Panthers have trouble filling the stadium, either.

Update II: It was the weather, eh?  Earlier this morning, the local NBC affiliate reported that Obama himself downplayed attendance expectations:

In an exclusive one on one interview with NBC12, President Obama himself was hesitant to guarantee a packed house.

“Well we got to check the weather,” he said.  “But hopefully, we will have good weather and I’m looking forward to what is going to be a terrific event.”

The president then quickly changed the conversation to the message he hoped to send in his speech, regardless of how many people would be watching.

“My main goal is not to worry about the logistics of the convention,” Obama said. “My main goal is to communicate to the American people how we can move forward.”

If the weather turns out to be nice and calm tonight, will the press take a few pictures of the empty stadium?

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Will Bank of America be asking for a refund now that they get thrown under da bus?

D-fusit on September 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

And if you believe that, then I have a bridge in Dubai to sell you… Cheap!

BigGator5 on September 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Clint: “I won”

faraway on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Four years ago they would have gone with the bigger stadium no matter how much it rained.

Bob's Kid on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Wet Seat.

Heal the planet, Obama…..

Electrongod on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

30% chance of rain. 100% chance of not even being close to filling stadium and looking like fools.

HumpBot Salvation on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

President Downgrade

hamnj7 on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Question. What happens to people who had tickets to the original venue for whom there are no longer enough seats in the new location?

Doughboy on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Breaking: Obama speech moved indoors due to … weather

Just another Downgrade…

Chip on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

So instead of Greek Columns …they’ll have a
Laser Light show??

ToddPA on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

There will still be one empty chair no matter how small the venue is.

bayview on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

But, but wouldn’t the faithful stand in the rain to see their messiah???

aniptofar on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Will Bank of America be asking for a refund now that they get thrown under da bus?

D-fusit on September 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I’m sure they’ve been taken care of.

aniptofar on September 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Is it too late to fill that stadium for a counter-rally at the same time?

windbag on September 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Michelle’s arms for VP!

Republican Yogi on September 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Barry cannot halt the rain?

bayview on September 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Empty Chair Day on Monday, empty stadium seats Wednesday.

scalleywag on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Puppet Show and…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lku6S24pWSU

pjaromin on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

The thrill is gone. Evidently, they couldn’t corral enough bussed-in folks.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

hamnj7 on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Ahhh shoot! Beat me to it….

Chip on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

You wouldn’t cancel a flight for a 30% chance of t-storms 36 hours out.

sentinelrules on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Hee Hee

gophergirl on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

He can only control the seas, but not the weather. Loser….

Oil Can on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Remember when the left laughed about the bad weather in Tampa?

“You reap what you sow.” ~ GOD

Flora Duh on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Watch this 30 second Obama ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2IWaetjNqA&feature=plcp

I promise you will laugh like a crazy person. Enjoy!

thebrokenrattle on September 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Chip on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Curious. What was the seating # for Tampa?
Never saw it memtioned.

bluealice on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Flora Duh on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

He always gets the last word.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Is it too late to fill that stadium for a counter-rally at the same time?

windbag on September 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Ohh that would be Perfect!!!

Chip on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Wondering if we could get a webcam inside the stadium on some news channel to show that the weather is fine

ConservativePartyNow on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

it was an army of Clint’s little buddies….

harlekwin15 on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

He always gets the last word.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

And he’s always right.

gophergirl on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Milli Vanilli blamed it on the raaaain too….

ted c on September 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Obama is always blaming someone else

Blame It On The Rain

faraway on September 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Obama: Whatever you do, don’t put the blame on you… uh.. me. Blame in on the Bain.

MobileVideoEngineer on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

From the Headline thread.

MobileVideoEngineer on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

The Republicans could find 72,000 to fill it. If it is available they could flash mob it. Everyone arrive with an empty chair tied to the roof of their cars.

scrubjay on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Pathetic. A back-up quarterback for the Jets could fill those seats for a game and he might not even play.

ModerateMan on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Tweet from local weathercaster dude.

His latest tweet: “It’s a simple question…if you have a Panthers gmae, concert or soccer match with a 20% chance of storms would you cancel 24 hours prior?”

sentinelrules on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I don’t think even the French were afraid of the rain.

faraway on September 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

They moved the speech due to whether. Whether or not they could fill the BofA stadium — they couldn’t.

The Rogue Tomato on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

That makes this Obama ad hilarious. Watch it before they take it down.

thebrokenrattle on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Doesn’t Take a Weatherman To Know Which Way the Wind Is Blowing.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Busing all those people into Charlotte is going to make traffic a bitch. Fully expect to see countless empty seats anyway.

Jack Deth on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Empty Chair day vs. Empty stadium seats

redguy on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Let’s see – the Dem platform removes all mention of God and also supports late-term abortions.

I’d say the chance of a lightning strike is rather high.

Timothy S. Carlson on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Won’t blame it on myself
I’ll blame it on the weatherman.

P.S. Where do we get 100,000 balloons ASAP?

andy85719 on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Stormy Weather.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Doesn’t Take a Weatherman To Know Which Way the Wind Is Blowing.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Winner

faraway on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Wait, 73k… now down to 22k.

Umm if by “less than half” you mean “less than 1/3″, ok.

Math. It’s just not their thing.

Irritable Pundit on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

…It holds less than half the amount of people the stadium does — 22,000 to the stadium’s 73,000…

And here’s a news flash for The Hill – that’s actually less than a third.

Drained Brain on September 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

30% chance of rain tomorrow night. If only Obama were that cautious with federal investments.

Zaggs on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Dems are worried that in a fit of anti-Republican rage, Obam-Zeus will hurl lightning bolts at innocent DNC convention-goers.

Glenn Jericho on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

This is the first big plunder of their convention and hopefully more to come. They should have saw this coming. The enthusiasm is simply not there.

Overall, the first day had no major hiccups for the dems but the speakers were angry and their ideas were tired (but don’t expect the MSM to pick up on that). The next great landmine is Clinton’s speech.

mwbri on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Someone is raining on Barry’s parade.

bayview on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

It looks more like the attendance forecast was partly gloomy, with a large chance of Eastwooding at Bank of America Stadium.

Excellency in snarkisms .. good job, Ed.

pambi on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Question. What happens to people who had tickets to the original venue for whom there are no longer enough seats in the new location?

Probably didn’t get enough takers for that problem to arise. That’s a big reason why they moved it.

No Truce With Kings on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Wouldn’t it be funny if it didn’t rain and they couldn’t fill the new arena, either?

Liam on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

“Hope and Change” has been replaced by “Chance of Rain”.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

OK, so the DNC loses the $$$ paid for BofA, and must pay for the new place !

Fine with me !!!

pambi on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

It looks more like the attendance forecast was partly gloomy, with a large chance of Eastwooding at Bank of America Stadium.

You would have thought that a man whose very election caused the seas to recede and the planet to heal would be able to control the weather.

I guess this is a result of the Dems finally coming out as anti-God and anti-child. I wouldn’t want to risk being smote by lightening either.

Happy Nomad on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Bobcats are no longer the worst team in town.

22044 on September 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Question. What happens to people who had tickets to the original venue for whom there are no longer enough seats in the new location?

Yes, indeed. So many hearts will be broken. Oh, wait. Nonexistent people don’t have hearts.

natasha333 on September 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Speaking of weather, where’s AlGore? He can drop bags of taxpayer money on the stadium and make the rain go away.

RadClown on September 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Supposedly, BJ still have not let Barry Campaign people see his speech as yet.

bayview on September 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

His latest tweet: “It’s a simple question…if you have a Panthers gmae, concert or soccer match with a 20% chance of storms would you cancel 24 hours prior?”

Would they cancel a panther’s game or soccer game with 100% chance of rain?

Maybe I would if I lost as much as the panthers do…

segasagez on September 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

So he CAN’T turn back thunderstorms? I thought he was going to scale back the rising oceans. What’s a little thunderstorm compared with that?

UnderstandingisPower on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

You wouldn’t cancel a flight for a 30% chance of t-storms 36 hours out.

Hell, The Air Force, Active and Reserve; wouldn’t cancel a mission for a thunderstorm 10 miles out and closing.

May shut down the flightline for a storm 5 miles out. Then cancel at 3 to 1 mile(s).

NEWSFLASH: OBAMA Suffers from EMPTY CHAIR SYNDROME!!!

Jack Deth on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

We blame Global Warming er,Climate Change.
Signed DNC

docflash on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The greatest thing I ever saw in an arena in Charlotte was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of the Moon” concert on March 23, 1973.

Now that was a life-changing experience.

Bat Chain Puller on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

You mean I belong to the Government, and all I got was this dam chair?

Lincoln Cadillac on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

There will be no joy in Mudville.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Question. What happens to people who had tickets to the original venue for whom there are no longer enough seats in the new location?

Doughboy on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

The reason they moved this inside was due to their concern for their constituents. You see, if cardboard cut outs get wet, they will be probably be damaged, so you want to make sure you keep them away from any chance of rain.

dirtseller on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

That makes this Obama ad hilarious. Watch it before they take it down.

thebrokenrattle on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

And that would be about the size crowd they could muster up.

Happy Nomad on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

30% chance of rain tomorrow night. If only Obama were that cautious with federal investments.

Zaggs on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

PRECISELY ! What was the success forecast for, say SOLINDRA ??

pambi on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Poor Barky.
He was Eastwooded and Spinal Tapped in the same week.

jrgdds on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I believe this group has a song about rain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbbTwDPWY_A

ToddPA on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I think their decision is wise. If I were there, I, too, would be concerned about being struck down by lightning.

WannabeAnglican on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

jrgdds on September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Thread winner

mwbri on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

if the RNC had the balls we could have Capitalapalooza at the BoA stadium….

Clint Eastwood, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and all the rest at the world’s largest party….

harlekwin15 on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

ahhh haa haa haahaaaaa!!

mechkiller_k on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Puppet Show and…

Does that mean Obama will be treating us all to a rendition of “Jazz Odyssey?”

crazy_legs on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

While it’s true that the weather service predicts thunderstorms tomorrow, they also predict that those will have passed by 10 pm ET tomorrow, before Obama would have taken the stage

But if the people get wet, he gets wet. He can’t be content if anyone is struggling or wet.

Cindy Munford on September 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Not for nothing, but the weather forecast for tomorrow night at Weather.com looks rather … normal for Charlotte. While it’s true that the weather service predicts thunderstorms tomorrow, they also predict that those will have passed by 10 pm ET tomorrow, before Obama would have taken the stage. By 4 pm ET, the prediction for “scattered thunderstorms” drops to “isolated thunderstorms,” and the precipitation chance drops from 40% to 30%.

This is NC… we pretty much have the same forecast for every day in mid/late summer.

mankai on September 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

It’s the weather’s fault….

albill on September 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Obama 2008: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Obama 2012: “We are about one-third of the ones we were hoping for.”

BuckeyeSam on September 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

empty chairs would be a cacophony of mocking at him….

ted c on September 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

It looks more like the attendance forecast was partly gloomy, with a large chance of Eastwooding at Bank of America Stadium.

Maybe someone took a good look at the losers they were busing in to fill the seats and realized that an OWS atmosphere just might backfire.

NotCoach on September 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

If they have one empty seat…you know where the cameras are going.

right2bright on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Will the Greek columns fit in the smaller stadium?!?

Inquiring minds want to know….

JadeNYU on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Talk about production nightmares !!
The networks now need to move the miles and miles of their cables, equipment, etc.
Not gonna leave the best taste in their mouths, for sure.

DNC in Charlotte = EPIC FAIL, everywhere you look !!
Buuwahaha

pambi on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

20K seats?? How many less are there due to the gigantic stage??

Rich on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Speaking of weather, where’s AlGore?

RadClown on September 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Funny you should mention him:

Where’s Al Gore?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In 2008, Al Gore strode onto the stage at Denver’s Invesco Field to a hero’s welcome, throwing his support behind Barack Obama to take on the “global climate crisis.”

When Obama takes the stage this week, Gore will be nowhere in sight.

He isn’t coming to the Democratic National Convention but is spending the week in New York City, anchoring coverage of the event for his network Current TV.

Gore’s evolution over the past four years — from a central figure in the Democratic Party to a no-show at its biggest event — matches what has happened to the issue of climate change itself, which moved to the sidelines alongside its chief crusader, environmentalists and some Democrats say. Source

Flora Duh on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

P.S. Where do we get 100,000 balloons ASAP?

andy85719

Don’t know where you get the balloons. But just put them in the arena and all that hot air will take care of filling them.

Zaggs on September 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The greatest thing I ever saw in an arena in Charlotte was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of the Moon” concert on March 23, 1973.

Now that was a life-changing experience.

Bat Chain Puller on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Damn! Now that’s entertainment!

I think the High Water Mark for me was AC-DC
Back in Black tour in Philly where the start was pitch Black
with a Liberty Bell center stage…they came out jamming
HELLS BELLS. Loud as Hell!

That wasn’t Life Changing, but certainly Mind Altering…

But I swear the Columbian Gold Bud had nothing to do with that..

ToddPA on September 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Just checked the enemy sites; DUmmies, Daily Kooks, and Puff Ho and the have yet to note this.
I find that Racist!

D-fusit on September 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

shortly someone will make the call and the national weather service will find that there are hurricane force winds and flash floods and tornados imminent for the charlotte area tomorrow.

chasdal on September 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Debt, Deficits & Defence: Debunking “My Progressive Little Ponyland” Math

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/09/debt-deficits-defence-debunking-my.html

M2RB: Ronnie James Dio

Resist We Much on September 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Obama wants to show that he’s pro-woman, hoping that keeping DWS out of the Charlotte humidity will save her hair.

Then, again, the woman’s from SE Florida, and she spends much of her year in DC.

BuckeyeSam on September 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM

If they have one empty seat…you know where the cameras are going.

right2bright on September 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Would be nice, but not with this media.

bluealice on September 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM

“Hope and Change” has been replaced by “Chance of Rain”.

Thread winner!

crazy_legs on September 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Republican’s had an empty chair…dems have an empty stadium…

right2bright on September 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

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