Democrats are poised to avoid the danger of President Barack Obama accepting his party’s nomination before a partially-empty stadium by shifting his speech to an indoor arena and citing ‘severe weather’.
The Obama campaign have been working desperately to ensure that the 74,000-seater Bank of America stadium in Charlotte would be filled.
Buses for students from across North Carolina and even members of black churches in neighboring South Carolina have been arranged.
Democrats are poised to avoid the danger of President Barack Obama, pictured on the White House lawn today, accepting his party’s nomination before a partially-empty stadium by shifting his speech to an indoor arena and citing ‘severe weather’
The Bank of America stadium site where U.S. President Barack Obama is set to give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte
The main stage in the Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, where Obama’s speech is believed to be moving to, to avoid any embarrassment over empty seats in the bigger stadium
A man uses a plastic trash bag for rain protection at the Carolina Fest street fair, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on September 3, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina
Footage of rows of empty seats at the stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers,as Obama speaks on Thursday night would be politically disastrous – an enduring image of the contrast between his campaign of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ in 2008 and his dour, negative struggle for re-election in 2012.
Now, it looks like the weather has come to the President’s rescue.
As officials prepare to open the Democratic convention this afternoon, there are strong indications that the speech will be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena, which has a capacity of just over 20,000.
Speaking at a background briefing for the press, a Democratic official said that the speech would be given in the stadium ‘rain or shine’ before quickly adding a major caveat.
‘We do have a contingency plan, though, for lightning or other severe weather,’ he said. ‘We don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way so that’s really what we’re looking for, not if it’s going to rain but if it’s going to be really bad.
‘The reason that we’re not releasing the details on what a move to the arena would mean until that decision is made we don’t want a lot of conflicting information out there.
Before going to Charlotte for the convention, U.S. President Barack Obama speaks today during a campaign rally at Norfolk University in Norfolk, Virginia
Marine One with Barack Obama on board takes off from the South Lawn of the White House on today as Obama leaves for Norfolk, Virginia, to attend a campaign event
First lady Michelle Obama waves on stage during a sound check with stage manager David Cove during preparations for the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena
Campaign workers fold up an Obama banner after a sudden thunderstorm washed out the Carolina Fest street fair, in Charlotte, North Carolina
Democratic convention sources have indicated that the ‘contingency plan’ is at an advanced stage and that a move to the stadium appears certain. Michelle Obama gives an interview after in the Time Warner Cable Arena today