Isaac threatens to steal Romney's moment

2012-08-27 08:59
Tea Party supporter Sandra Stuart prays before the start of the Tea Party Unity Rally at The River at Tampa Bay Church ahead of the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Florida. (Robyn Beck, AFP)

Tea Party supporter Sandra Stuart prays before the start of the Tea Party Unity Rally at The River at Tampa Bay Church ahead of the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Florida. (Robyn Beck, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tampa - Tropical Storm Isaac threatened on Monday to steal the media spotlight from Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and overshadow the all-important convention that will crown him the nominee.

Monday was supposed to be the raucous kick-off to four days of carefully choreographed political theatre designed to imprint Romney's image upon the American consciousness as the potential savior of the flagging US economy.

Instead, after party officials scrapped the first day of events due to the threat posed by Isaac, a symbolic 10-minute session will be held at the Tampa convention centre before the gavel adjourns proceedings until the following day.

The original script had Romney to be formally nominated to take on President Barack Obama in the 6 November election by delegate roll call on Monday morning, launching a succession of well-honed speeches by leading party figures.

That procedure will now take place on Tuesday after the first day's programme was repackaged into a tighter three-day schedule due to the storm.

Party officials stressed that the prime night-time speaking slots on Tuesday and Wednesday, culminating in Romney's acceptance speech on Thursday after an introduction by rising Hispanic star Marco Rubio, remained unchanged.

Back-up plan

"We feel good that we're going to go ahead and do the roll call on Tuesday," Romney campaign aide Russ Schriefer told journalists.

Now forecast to miss the convention site of Tampa, Isaac is expected to strengthen in the coming days to a hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before smashing into Louisiana later in the week near New Orleans.

Pressed on whether they had a back-up plan if Hurricane Isaac wreaked havoc during the convention, party officials said they remained flexible but refused to offer details of any contingencies.

"We are obviously monitoring," said Schriefer. "Our concern has to be with the people who are in the path of the storm."

Those words were echoed by the candidate himself, who must tread a fine line between preventing the storm from stealing his limelight, while displaying concern for those in harm's way.

Preparing for his convention speech in New Hampshire, Romney said: "I hope everybody's fine there. I'm concerned about the people that are going to be affected by it."

'God must be a Democrat'

Asked whether he was worried that the storm might overshadow his big moment, the candidate replied: "It'll be a great convention."

Events have raised ironic cries that God must be a Democrat as they echo a similar scenario in 2008, when Republicans canceled nearly all their programming on the first day of their convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota due to Hurricane Gustav.

Jeb Bush, then Florida governor, was also forced to stay put in his home state in 2004 to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Charley instead of addressing the New York convention to renominate his brother, president George W Bush.

Isaac approached hurricane strength on Sunday as it barreled past the Florida Keys into the Gulf of Mexico, taking aim for the coast of Louisiana after claiming seven lives in Haiti.

Forecasts put it on a direct path for New Orleans, seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and killed 1 800 people in the country's worst natural disaster in living memory.

Isaac is expected to be a category one or at worst category two hurricane when it makes landfall - late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday - considerably weaker than Katrina, which was a category four.

Akin criticised

But Romney can ill afford to play down its potential impact as the political repercussions would be disastrous if it went on to cause significant damage or loss of life.

At the same time, the Tampa convention is a golden opportunity for the candidate to hog the airwaves and weave a compelling personal narrative that could tip the balance in a tight election likely to go down to the wire.

The run-up to the event has already been overshadowed by incendiary remarks from Todd Akin, a Republican congressman seeking a Senate seat in Missouri who suggested women's bodies could prevent pregnancy after a "legitimate rape".

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Romney criticised Akin, saying the controversy "hurts our party and I think is damaging to women".

In an interview with USA Today newspaper, the candidate decried what he called "misguided" and "dishonest" attacks by President Barack Obama's camp against him.

"The White House just keeps stepping lower and lower and lower, and the people of America know this is an important election, and they deserve better than they've seen," Romney said.

The Republican camp is anxious to get the campaign back on message, billing the former Massachusetts governor as a successful businessman with the acumen to turn around the economy and get the country back on track.

Polls show a tight race between the Republican challenger and Obama with a handful of key swing states expected to decide the outcome.

Read more on:    ron paul  |  barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.