Weathermen such as Brad Panovich of WCNC-TV find it strange that even though this Thursday evening’s weather is predicted to be the best of the week in Charlotte, with only a 20 percent chance of rain, the DNC has scrapped President Obama’s speech at the outdoors Bank of America stadium.
Everyone I talked to believes weather wasn’t the major reason for the move indoors to the Time Warner Arena, where the other convention business is being conducted. It’s that the organizers couldn’t be sure of filling the 90,000-seat stadium. If television had captured rows of empty seats the comparison with the “hope and change” convention in Denver in 2008 would have been jarring. That year, Obama had no trouble filling the 85,000 seats at Invesco Field in Denver.
The change of venue will not please the thousands of holders of “community credentials” who were planning to see Obama accept his party’s nomination in person. Don Carrington, the executive editor of Carolina Journal in Raleigh, told me that friends of his applied for community credentials months ago and were subjected to the third degree in order to weed out troublemakers. “They had to answer all kinds of political questions before he passed muster,” Carrington told me. “I can imagine people will be disappointed in coming all this way and not seeing the president.”
The fact that Team Obama took the unusual step of cancelling the stadium speech just the day before it was scheduled speaks volumes about the lack of enthusiasm for their man they fear is pervading this election.