Yesterday’s decision to move Obama’s acceptance speech from the 75,000 seat Bank of American stadium to the smaller 20,000 set TimeWarner Arena disappointed some unknown number of supporters. Democrats claim they had handed out 65,000 tickets and had another 18,000 people on a waiting list. Color me highly skeptical, but I think we can agree that some very large number of supporters had their expectations dashed yesterday. Of course, to reporter Amie Parnes from The Hill, its just another very positive development for the Obama campaign. Really.
In piece filed this morning, which actually uses the words Obama and “crescendo” in the headline, Parnes writes:
The shift seems likely to benefit Obama and his party, who have reminded veteran political observers during the convention’s first two nights of their talent for visual imagery and spectacle that plays as well on TV as in the auditorium.
The president will now get the chance to do what he does best: deliver a prepared speech to an arena jam-packed with his loudest and most loyal supporters.
He will not have to worry about rain drenching him or thunder and lightning upstaging him. His only competition will have been Michelle Obama’s highly praised Tuesday speech and the address of former President Clinton on Wednesday, with its fiery attack on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama’s supporters say they are confident the president will meet or even exceed those high standards.
Seriously, this is a news report? Could it be more sycophantic? The move of venue seems “likely to benefit Obama”? That is just daft. Now, I don’t think the move does any real damage to Obama, expect to provide more evidence that the thrill is gone for the 2008 campaign. But, does anyone seriously think he gets a positive bump from switching to the much smaller venue?
Take a glance at this Charlotte Observer editorial to gauge the local reaction:
Not that the whole “most open and accessible convention in history” had a leg to stand on anyway, but now that claim is officially dead. The Democrats just yanked credentials from some 50,000-plus potential voters who had planned to cheer on President Obama’s acceptance speech in person Thursday night.
The DNC Committee’s announcement this morning that Obama’s speech was being moved from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena is what Obama’s young supporters would call a buzzkill. Thousands had volunteered for Obama’s campaign for hours, and thousands more stood in line for many hours, to secure a ticket to the stadium. Thanks for the effort, guys, but … never mind.
The DNCC cited the potential for severe weather. Weather.com predicts the skies will be partly cloudy at 10 p.m. Thursday, with a 20 percent chance of rain. It’s never higher than 30 percent from 4 p.m. on.
What did organizers think the chance of rain would be on a September evening in Charlotte when they decided to put the Obama event at the stadium in the first place? Zero?
It seems to be part of a pattern by the DNCC: Make big plans, then scale them back. First it was the Monday event at the Speedway being reeled in. Now this.
I would remind Ms. Parnes that North Carolina is a battleground state. I know this may be a surprise, but in some states Obama will have to, you know, compete for votes. If there really were the seemingly mythical 80,000+ supporters eager to hear Obama’s speech, a campaign would be very wise to avoid dashing their hopes and expectations. Especially if they are in a state critical to the outcome of the election.
You certainly wouldn’t let all these people down when the chance for rain during the speech is 0%. I don’t know who Ms. Parnes is, but if you want to keep track of the latest spin from the White House or Obama campaign, her twitter feed is a great place to start. She’s an accomplished stenographer for the Democrats.