Democratic National Convention organizers are apparently freaking out that there could be lots of empty seats for President Barack Obama’s Thursday night acceptance speech in a huge football stadium, so they are gearing up to possibly move it to a smaller, indoor venue.
As blogger-law professor Glenn Reynolds quips about this contingency plan, “you didn’t fill that.”
London’s Daily Mail is apparently the first media outlet to break the story about the potential cancellation of the Obama attendance-challenged outdoor acceptance speech:
“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…”
“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.”
If this report is accurate, the speech will occur in the Time Warner Cable Arena, the 20,000 seat facility where all the other convention activities this week are taking place.
The Obama campaign evidently planned to (or perhaps still is planning on) busing in people from elsewhere in North Carolina and South Carolina to fill up the Bank Of America Stadium.
Most people aren’t watching either convention — at least in real time — because they are busy with their own lives and because these highly orchestrated political events (unless something unexpected happens) are boring. Moreover, with the economy continuing in dire straits, would another speech by Obama really change anyone’s mind at this point?
Do you think it will look bad if there are empty seats at the Bank of America Stadium when Barack Obama accepts his party’s nomination for president?
Update: The acceptance speech has indeed been officially been moved indoors to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena.