DNC readies 'contingency plan,' watches weather for Obama acceptance speech
August 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

DNC readies 'contingency plan,' watches weather for Obama acceptance speech

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Democratic National Convention officials have been anxiously watching the weather for next week when President Obama will deliver his convention speech from an outdoor stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, a convention official told CNN. Another source said officials have readied a "contingency plan" which would be announced "closer to the convention" should extreme weather strike.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the DNC will hold events at the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. On Thursday, President Obama – and Vice President Biden - are slated to deliver acceptance speeches at the outdoor Bank of America Stadium. The stadium seats just over 73,000.

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Forecasts show the potential for rain and possibly thunderstorms on Thursday for Charlotte, creating the potential for the soaking of the tens of thousands of attendees and casting a cloud over the carefully-staged event.

"There's been some conversations that the forecast is already predicting storms," one convention official said.

While stressing that no decisions have been made, the official said: "Of course there's some conversations about contingency plans."

The concern highlights the weather hazards of holding a presidential nomination acceptance speech in an outdoor venue – a rare event only seen three times in U.S. history. This comes after the Republican National Convention delayed the start of its proceedings at the indoor Tampa Bay Times Forum over concerns about the tropical storm that would become Hurricane Isaac.

Another convention official confirmed the existence of a contingency plan.

"The convention proceedings at Bank of America Stadium will take place rain or shine, similar to other events at the stadium," the official said. "We have an advisory team in place that is constantly updating a contingency plan in the event of severe weather, which will be announced closer to the convention if the need arises."

When asked to outline what options that plan might include, the source said, "We will only announce contingency plans in the event that an emergency/severe weather actually arises, so that we can be sure that we communicate only one plan, the one that is accurate and relevant to the situation at hand."

"Our plans will take into account the stadium's existing weather plans that are used for Panthers games and other events," the source also said, referring to the Carolina Panthers football team headquartered at the venue.

According to Bank of America stadium, attendees to its football games and events typically stay outside when it rains. However, if there is lightning, the stadium encourages attendees to move under cover to the concession areas.

Regarding what to possibly advise delegates and guests who will attend for the president's speech, the second official said: "At the moment we are not advising anything, we are leaving that to the state party chairs to decide on what to advise their delegates."

Weather concerns are inherent in holding such an important political event in an outdoor venue – a rare event in U.S. history.

In 2008, then Sen. Obama accepted the Democratic Party presidential nomination at the outdoor Invesco Field in Denver. It was the first time a nominee delivered an outdoor convention acceptance speech in nearly 50 years.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy delivered his speech at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Before that, Franklin Roosevelt gave an outdoor acceptance speech at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Now it's about integrity!

    Some questions...

    1. Where are Romney's tax returns? What's he hiding that is so bad he'd allow Harry Reid to make the claims he's made?

    2. Where is President George W. Bush? If the Republicans take no blame for his disasterous Administration why isn't he on stage – touting his "Mission Accomplishments"...

    August 30, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    "I recently found my mom's property tax bill from 1977. Her home was valued at 20% less than my home is currently valued, yet her property tax bill was 40% higher than my 2011 tax bill."
    ------–
    Same city / town? You'll have to excuse my skepticism, but if that's the case, my guess is you live next to 3 mile island.

    August 30, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Z_2k

    "The real trouble is Hurricane Jobs, which will hit Charlotte on the day after Obama acceptance speech: August Jobs report!"

    Yeah, Obama will take credit for Hurricane Isaac decimating LA and creating job opportunities for immigrants, legal or illegal. .

    August 30, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Wilson

    It appears Obama is still running against bush/blaming bush. He needs to read the sign on his desk "The Buck Stops Here." That is if he did not have it removed.

    August 30, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Same city / town? You'll have to excuse my skepticism, but if that's the case, my guess is you live next to 3 mile island.

    St. Petersburg, Florida.

    August 30, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Jerry

    Larry L
    This is the time to show the Republicans what a "big tent" really looks like! As Democrats come together we'll see people of all ethnic origins, incomes, religions, and cultural beliefs. We'll have small business owners, college students, senior citizens, union members, farmers, teachers, fire fighters, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. Gay people know they are truly welcome and their rights respected. The Democratic Convention is a gathering of ALL Americans.
    _________________________________
    Larry L, Dream on...of course, while continuing to "Bend Forward." Mr. Obamalooney just loves it when you do that (especially if you DON'T used large gobs of Vaseline). (If you are a doubter, you can simply confirm it with freeloader Flukie.)

    Wouldn't it be really funny (payback) if Mother Nature surprised the Democratic conventioneers with the exact same thing that they wished and prayed for during the Republican convention?! Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.

    Stay tuned...

    August 30, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    @ Malory Archer –

    St. Pete is a lovely city. But if you're trying to convince me that in the past 35 years, property values only went up 20% at the same time property taxes went down 40%... in 35 YEARS... well, sorry, Hon... I'm just not buying it.

    August 30, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. NickAnast

    "Fair is Fair

    'I recently found my mom's property tax bill from 1977. Her home was valued at 20% less than my home is currently valued, yet her property tax bill was 40% higher than my 2011 tax bill.'
    --–
    Same city / town? You'll have to excuse my skepticism, but if that's the case, my guess is you live next to 3 mile island."

    Sorry, Fair, but the FACT is that Americans' tax burden today is lower than at any point in the last 60 years.

    August 30, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    NickAnast

    Sorry, Fair, but the FACT is that Americans' tax burden today is lower than at any point in the last 60 years.
    ------
    This conversation is about PROPERTY taxes, not income taxes. Please try to keep up.

    August 30, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Bessy

    @Z_2K How about " hurricane gas ". They announced the hurricane was going to hit the Gulf Coast and gas prices went up 5 cents right after the announcement. I guess the morons will blame Obama for that also.

    August 30, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. RYAN JERISK

    Get out the Tin Foil hats, BO is coming to town.

    August 30, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    This is going to be worse than shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

    "I believe in trickle down economics....straight from the government to my wallet." :)

    August 30, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Let's not forget that President Bush was dealt 9/11 terror attacks and Katrina, back to back and Barney and Frank and their mess with the Mortgages and high fuel prices that drove the economy to the brink. Oh yes, he also started the Gulf war, but I seem to recall both Democrats and Republicans said okay to everything, based on UK intelligence, so we all share the blame.
    Meanwhile, Obama owns this four years that he said he would fix and instead, was iunavble to fix anything excpet through deceit, burden us with more taxes and rob from Medicare. It's time for a real "CHANGE". The people need to get their heads out of the place where the sun doesn't shine, wake up and vote someone in that has the experience to get things done. You don't have to like the guy, you just have to give him the opportunity to do a job that is overdue.

    August 30, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    @ Malory Archer –

    St. Pete is a lovely city. But if you're trying to convince me that in the past 35 years, property values only went up 20% at the same time property taxes went down 40%... in 35 YEARS... well, sorry, Hon... I'm just not buying it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Sorry hon, but here's the deal: I bought my home in 2004, and it's now worth a third of what I paid, or about equal to its worth in the late 1980s. Back in 1977, the city's millage rate was nearly 26%. Today it's less than 6 mils. The county's rate is considerably less as well. My taxes are lower than the previous owner who bought the place in 1990 for 25%less than its current value. Mostly it's the millage rate decreases, but when you factor in the declining property values you see the big picture – that is if you're willing to take off your blinders.

    August 30, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. LIP

    Bush was handed 9/11 and Katrina, back to back, along with high gas prices that drove the economy to the brink and let's not forget Barney and Chris Dodd and the mortgage mess they created. Yes, he started the Iraq and Afganistan war, but based on UK intelligence on WMD's, the Senate and House signed on to both wars. Let's also remember that Bush fought a Democrat Senate for the last two years of his administration that helped lay the groundwork for Obama to take over, so he can't blame Bush for this mess...too many cooks spoiled this pot of stew.
    Now we have an opportunbity to make some real "change" by electing someone that has repaired problems all his life . You don't have to like the guy, just give him the opportunity to fix this mess so we can all get on with our lives. Once he does this, you all can go back to politics as usual and elect another do nothing like you did for this last four years.

    August 30, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. cali girl

    Jerry with your comments to Larry L comments.
    You should stay tuned.
    If you want to go there with the bend forward and whatever, where were you for those wonderful 8 years, from 2000-2008 when we had that successful executive business man run this country? Did you not live through that mess, or do you suffer from CRS.

    August 30, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    @ Malory Archer –

    You bought at the height of the bubble, and it sounds like you really got the shaft. That really stinks. Why did St. Pete drastically lower their mill rate? I mean, to me, that sounds like some seriously deficient leadership at the local level.

    August 30, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Here's the real calamity of both the Democratic and Republican National conventions: $150 million dollars each in direct and indirect federal (taxpayer) subsidy of these self congratulatory bits of excesses. Even with that pork handout and millions more in special interest and corporate "sponsorship", both conventions will still run in the red.

    It's worth noting that the Libertarians held their national convention without a dime of taxpayer support and managed, in former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, to nominate a more credentialed and more effective candidate for the office of President of the United States then either of these two big media clown shows will do.

    August 30, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    @ Malory Archer –

    You bought at the height of the bubble, and it sounds like you really got the shaft. That really stinks. Why did St. Pete drastically lower their mill rate? I mean, to me, that sounds like some seriously deficient leadership at the local level.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The millage rate situation is the same all over the United States. As for buying at the height of the RE bubble, at least I was smart enough to not let a real estate vulture insult and bully me into buying more house than I can afford – one agent actually asked me what kind of idiot I was for going by the old VA rule of not buying a home worth more than 2.5 times our annual income, and therefore not buying as much house for which I qualified. That being said, while I might not be able to sell the place, at least I can pay for it.

    August 30, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Shirley Kraft

    I am not happy with our government now but with the choice of Mitt or Obama– Obama has my vote.
    I feel that Obama is trying and that's better then not trying at all. Obama can relate to most Americans but
    Mitt can not ever relate to most Americans. When's the last time he had car trouble and had money problems trying to fix the car. Has he ever stood in line at the DMV, Has he ever had to think which bills he'd pay first and let the others wait until his next paycheck?? MITT INVENTED THE WORDS " OUT OF TOUCH". This man talks the talk but his background is far removed from the average American. I saw his family but it didn't relate to any American family that I know.
    Yes, Obama, we will do what we have to do to give you some more time to help American.

    August 30, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. therichness

    An outdoor speech in the rain would provide stunning optics.

    August 30, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. truth hurts

    It would be appropriate for Obama to get dumped on in Charlotte. He's been dumping on the American people for 4 years now. It will be our turn to dump HIM in November.

    August 30, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. joan

    Harpers Magazine has a really factual and detail articles on Obama and on Romney on stand right now. Please go out and get this article and read it. Woh>>> i was blown away by these articles. We who are fair minded honest people will find
    these truths to be powerful. I am so scared that the middle class people who are so busy trying to make ends meet don't follow the news or read the papers are being braind washed with lies by the GOPS. They say the same lies over and over again in the hope that people will believe them. Obama is being shot down by BIG money, Lies and Racism.

    August 30, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    @ Malory Archer –

    I'll give you credit... you got lemons thrown at you and you're making lemonade. Hang in there, it will get better.

    Here in MA, the taxpayers, many years ago, passed a referrendum known as Proposition 2 1/2. Basically, it forbids localities from raising revenue on a year-over-year basis by more than 2.5%, unless an individual municipality's voters specifically, by town referrendum, override it (for example, a 1-time override to build a new library). It has proven to stabilize tax increases AND decreases, and town governments know exactly what they're going to get in local revenue. Further, each town is required, by law, to operate with a balanced budget.

    August 30, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Larry L

    @Wilson

    It appears Obama is still running against bush/blaming bush. He needs to read the sign on his desk "The Buck Stops Here." That is if he did not have it removed.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    If a coach inherited a team with a 0-10 record, no returning lettermen and a tough schedule he would have a tough year and would need a supreme effort from all of the assistant coaches and players. He might never expect half of the coaches and players to actually try to lose games. It would seem incredible they would rather discredit the new coach than win some games. Who would dream they could be so disloyal?

    Over 8 million jobs were lost before the President took office. President Bush started two wars and operated a cut & spend government – the wars weren't even in his budget. His tax plans cut revenues at exactly the wrong time. He issued the first bailout package. Why wouldn't Republicans accept responsibility for these events? Where is President Bush at the RNC? Are they hiding him for a reason. You know the answer.

    Mitch McConnell's plan from the first day was to obstruct progress. The Senate filibustered three times as much as any senate in history – even blocking their own ideas. When Senator Kennedy died the Senate was lost to obstruction. The House was no better – with Tea Party activists doing nothing for jobs but only pandering to big oil and sending forward political theater about "personhood"? It's a good Fox News sound-bite to try and assign blame to President Obama for the economy. However, Republicans failed to help in the recovery and at some level – acted like domestic terrorists. They did more damage than Tim McVeigh in the long-run.

    August 30, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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