The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama: ‘A Little Lightning and Thunder’ Preventing Stadium Speech


My stage-mate from last night, Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post, warned that the decision to move from Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena was going to mean a lot of North Carolina volunteers would be shut out of Obama’s convention address.

A few moments ago, she reported that the president “held a conference call with the shut-out convention-goers to apologize and encourage them to stay engaged.”

“I just want to begin by saying how much I regret that we’re not all gathering together in one place to deliver my acceptance speech tonight,” Obama told individuals on the call who had credentials for Bank of America stadium but won’t be able to get into the new venue, Time Warner Cable Arena.

“My main message is we can’t get a little thunder and lightning get us down,” he said, “we’re going to have to roll with it.”

Er, as the live weather updates over in the Corner will tell you, there’s currently a 30 percent chance of rain tonight, with “isolated thunder storms.” It’s a gorgeous day in Charlotte so far. (Of course, shortly after I hit, “post,” the skies open up with heavy rain.)

More and more, I suspect that this was a panicked move on the part of the Obama campaign, and that they should have gone through with having the president’s address at Bank of America “No, Wait, It’s Totally Panthers” Stadium.

Just how bad could turnout have been? The arena, full for Clinton Wednesday night, holds 20,000. Depending on how the stadium is set up, it can seat 60,000 to 74,000 people. You’re telling me the campaign couldn’t find 20,000 to 40,000 more Democrats?

Mecklenburg County, which includes the city of Charlotte, has 292,614 registered Democrats.

Obama could have brought in another 20,000 people, right? That would have made the stadium about two-thirds full, and the Obama campaign would still have the built-in excuse of bad weather for poor attendance.

Tags: Barack Obama


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