Politics: Blame it on the rain: Obama campaign moves acceptance to smaller venue

Published by: Robert Laurie on Wednesday September 5th, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE – Obama abandons stadium speech for smaller venue

It’s official.  Team Obama has decided to move the President’s Thursday night acceptance speech.  Originally, he was supposed to receive his party’s nomination in the 74,000 seat Bank of America Stadium.  Now he’ll be doing so in the much smaller, 20,000 seat Time Warner Arena.

The official reason for the change in venue is weather.  According to DNC organizers, they’re concerned about possible lightning strikes during the festivities.  To be fair, forecasters have been suggesting that storms were possible during the event timeframe.

However, political forecasters have been making another prediction: on-air embarrassment.

Rumors have been swirling for the last two weeks suggesting that Obama wouldn’t be able to fill the massive stadium.  The thought of the President speaking to a half empty arena is the kind of bad-on-tv debacle that gives campaign managers nightmares.  With that in mind, they’ve been scrambling to try and put people in the seats.

Free tickets have been handed out at multiple DNC events, and they’ve even had operatives canvasing local bars and restaurants, trying to drum up attendees.  Plans were also announced to bus individuals in from church groups, social organizations, and any regional college within driving distance.  Still, there was a palpable concern that Obama’s big stadium had become Obama’s big problem.

Now the call has been made, and the party is doing their best to blame the weather. According to campaign chief, Steve Kerrigan, the tens of thousands of ticket holders -who may or may not have shown up -will be given consolation prize.

''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.” Kerrigan said.  “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.”  

 “The President will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon, and we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the President between now and election day.”

 So take heart.  If you’re one of the ever-dwindling number of Obama loyalists, you’ll get a mass phone call and an invitation to a future event.  Most likely, it’ll be one with a smaller, less worrisome, crowd.

 Oh….and, of course, better weather.