Skip to comments.The Incredible Shrinking Acceptance Speech [....cloudy, with a strong chance of empty seats]
Posted on 09/05/2012 1:00:11 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Charlotte It's been raining every afternoon here during the Democratic convention, but from talking to the locals here, short afternoon showers are pretty common this time of year. One imagines that way back when Democrats booked the 74,000 seat Bank of America stadium for Obama's acceptance speech, someone did the due diligence to inquire what the weather might be like in Charlotte this time of year. The possibility of rain must have been considered.
So when the Obama campaign announced today that they were moving the President's acceptance speech from the outdoor stadium to the indoor 20,000 seat Time Warner Cable Arena, there are good reasons to be doubtful that this is happening because the forecast is a 30 percent chance of rain.
"We have decided to move Thursday's proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests," says Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan in a press release. "The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the dissappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the president in person."
But if the Democratic energy and enthusiasm is "overwhelming," why did Democrats already cancel a convention kick-off event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which seats a whopping 135,000 people. Again, the official reason for canceling the event at the speedway was to "maximize accessibility, transportation, and proximity of all guests." But it's a safe bet the bad optics of holding an event in a vast stadium that Democrats had little to no chance of filling, must have also weighed heavily on convention organizers's minds.
Another clue that Democrats aren't willing to come out and admit the real reason for downsizing Obama's acceptance speech is that they keep insisting that Bank of America stadium's seating capacity is 65,000 rather than the 74,000 it seats for NFL games. "The way the stadium is constructed, its capacity is 74,000 for football, said Obama communications director Brent Colburn yesterday. Our capacity is going to be lower on Thursday night because of staging, place for media, security, so were looking at approximately 65,000. We expect 65,000 to show up.
The trouble with this claim that this is the exact opposite of what happened when Obama accepted the nomination at Invesco Field Denver in 2008. "Invescos seating capacity was 76,125 in 2008, according to the Denver Broncos media guide for that year. But when Obama spoke there, DNC organizers estimated that he drew over 84,000. At the time, they were able to actually increase capacity by opening up the field to seating," observes The Washington Examiner's Phil Klein.
This also raises another interesting question: How many tickets did the Obama campaign give out? Several eyebrows were raised when it appeared in the weeks leading up to the convention Democrats were basically trolling through bars and other public places in an attempt to give tickets away. While it's hard to say how many tickets were given away, how many people made travel plans to come to Charlotte for the speech and are now about to be turned away?
Finally, it's already been well documented that 2012 Obama campaign is very sensitive about living up to the crowd sizes of the 2008 campaign. When Obama launched his campaign kick-off event at Ohio State University, he found himself looking out from the lectern and staring out at 4,000 empty seats. Democratic officials tried to shrug it off by pointing to Mitt Romney's relative inability to draw crowds, but Obamaland did not take the failure to fill seats on a large college campus very well.
"But for a campaign struggling to recapture it's fire the empty seats at Obama's announcement added up to a serious downer," writes Politico reporter Glenn Thrush in his e-book, "Obama's Last Stand." Thrush quotes one of the organizers of the OSU event, "It was a stark reminder of how different a year it was going to be."
If the inability to fill seats at the event at Ohio State was a "stark reminder," what must the Obama campaign be thinking about this colossal failure to fill the stadium in Charlotte?
Pray for a perfect day with a beautiful clear sky.
Empty Chair, empty seats.
Obama’s fundraising collapsed in August, too. Things haven’t been going so well for the bisexual Kenyan lately.
So naturally its best to assume that it really is a crowd size issue.
I wouldn’t be surprised if no one voted for him.
Looks like we’re going to have us a good old fashioned landslide, ladies and gentlemen!
If you remember, this is the second venue change. They started out with Charlotte Motor Speedway.
That is from a seating capacity of 135,000 to 70,000 and now somewhere near 20,000. Do the math and that is only 15% of the original site and that is not considering the infield of the speedway.
There is a lot of doublespeak, misinformation and the "supposing" of facts at state media websites. Several times I've read that it will disappoint tens of thousands who will be left out due to the smaller venue.
"....The Thursday address was scheduled to be at Bank of America stadium an outdoor venue with more than 70,000 seats. But forecasts are predicting thunderstorms, forcing a last-minute change in venue.
Campaign officials have been saying all week that the event would go forward "rain or shine" but reversed themselves Wednesday.
The move has an upside for the campaign, which has reportedly struggled to fill all the seats in the massive outdoor arena. Still, the arena only has a capacity of just over 20,000 meaning that tens of thousands of potential supporters will be denied the opportunity to see Obama speak.
In a statement, the DNC organizing committee CEO Steve Kerrigan said: "The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the president in person. We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history. The president will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon, and we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the president between now and election day."......Source
10,000 no-shows in a paltry 20,000-seat indoor arena would be priceless.
We can always count on Bahgdad Bob to tell us the truth.
I’m just grateful the Dem Congress did not spend our money building a dome over Black Panthers Stadium for this event.
Charlotte was in the path of Hurricane Barrack.