Thursday, September 6, 2012

Isaac moved convention rhetoric indoors. Is that really a political loss?

We have a new campaign “issue” – one just as trivial as 99 percent of the issues that usually come up during election cycles.
OBAMA: Won't be all wet

Some 50,000-plus people are going to be denied the chance to say “I was there!” when President Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech Thursday meant to officially kick off his active campaigning for a second term in the Oval Office.

THAT IS BECAUSE the heavy rainfall expected to hit Charlotte, N.C., (what is left of the storm that was once Hurricane Isaac and actually caused the first day of the Republican National Convention to be cancelled outright) caused the Obama for America people to decide that the president will give his speech indoors.

Meaning he won’t be speaking to a capacity crowd at the Bank of America stadium (and the 73,778 seats before which the NFL’s Carolina Panthers play). Instead, he’ll be speaking to a capacity crowd at the Time Warner Cable Arena – which is where the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats play.

All 20,200 seats – that is. There are ways of cramming some more people into the arena. Seats can be set up on the floor where the basketball court usually exists.

But what it basically comes down to is about 50,000 fewer seats, which means that fewer people will be able to say they were in the building when Obama spoke.

NOT THAT I think it’s all that big of a deal.

Personally, had Obama persisted in giving his speech in the football bowl, probably 7/8ths of the people there would have seats either so far from the stage or at such crummy angles that they wouldn’t have been able to see anything anyway.

They’d be relying on multiple video screens that likely would have been erected. Which means they’d be watching the event on television. They might as well stay home and watch their pick of the many broadcast stations that are carrying convention coverage.

If anything, they’d probably learn more from those broadcasts than  they would by sitting in the stadium and watching the Obama-approved version of the event (all telegenic, but with little substance – just like all convention events, regardless of political party).

NOT THAT THE views will be any better at the Time Warner Cable Arena!

If anything, the experience of attending a presidential nominating convention is in partaking of the events surrounding the roster of speakers. The speeches themselves are little more than cheap talk.

So cheap at times that Mitt Romney last week got overshadowed by a Clint Eastwood appearance that still has people wondering, “What was he thinking?”

But back to Obama, who on Thursday will still give the same speech that the Republican operatives already are writing their venomous responses to – even before they’ve heard a word from the president. As far as I’m concerned, they were “all wet” even before the heavy rainfall.

THEIR TRASH TALK really doesn’t depend on what Obama says. Just his existence is what offends them to the point that they’re trying to get the rest of the nation worked up into the same sense of hatred they feel whenever the president is mentioned.

It’s just too bad (for them, at least) that the real mood of the nation is one of apathy. Obama’s biggest benefit that gives him a chance of winning re-election despite the economic mess that is our society these days is that most of us don’t hate the man.

Although it wouldn’t surprise me if we hear trash talk from the ideologues claiming that Obama is depriving some 50,000 people the chance to attend an event they were sort of promised a chance to see.

What with the way that the Obama camp has offered up chances to be at the Democratic convention to “ordinary” people who make the requisite financial contribution.


EDITOR'S NOTE: I recall the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, held at the United Center, where officials made a big deal of restricting access to the Chicago Bulls locker room and Michael Jordan's locker. Since Jordan is now part-owner of the Charlotte NBA franchise, will similar restrictions be put on the owner's box from where he occasionally watches games?

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