Moist Monday: Evening Update From the RNC in Tampa

BlogHer Original Post

Unintentional ironic hilarity from the newly released, revised, temporary Order of Business:

blank Monday schedule

Wind and rain is fairly light in Tampa right now, as Tropical Storm Isaac moves across the Gulf of Mexico. But while some experts say the Republican National Convention cancelled Monday's events for the weather equivalent of "a bad hair day," others think the convention's still in peril.

See, Isaac's growth and path is looking much like Katrina's -- and Wednesday is the seven-year anniversary of Katrina's landfall in New Orleans. To drop a media industry term: The "optics" of all the bunting, and hoopla airing next to images of a natural disaster -- especially a hurricane in New Orleans -- just could not be worse.

In a late-afternoon briefing, Romney campaign strategist Russ Shriefer noted that they plan on going "full speed ahead" this week while constantly eyeballing Isaac and changing plans as needed. The campaign will consider organizing charitable donations should havoc be wreaked.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will not leave his state for Tampa, and CNN reassigned star correspondents Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'Brien from Tampa to New Orleans to follow Isaac's approach. But that still leaves a whole bunch of us on the floor -- media attendance at the convention is running around 10,000. Here's Erica Holloway at the press filing room:

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Meanwhile, the week officially opened -- and then immediately adjourned -- today, which started a "Debt From Convention" clock that ticked into motion upon the bang of RNC Chair Reince Priebus' gavel; it will stop when the convention adjourns. Another, constantly running debt clock sits on the forum floor.

Delegates supporting Ron Paul made the most of today's short time on the floor -- talking to reporters about their opposition to a rule change proposed last week. The new rules would bind delegates to the results of statewide primaries or caucuses. Currently, state parties choose the actual delegates at state conventions -- a process that helped Paul win seats this year. Floor fight a-brewing! And it's hard not to root for a floor fight whether or not you have special feelings for Paul -- a little old-school, smoky-room debate would be welcome amid such a carefully planned event. If they get enough support from other delegates, we might just see some action.

Paul delegates
Image: © Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com

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What to look for tomorrow: The blessed end of the need to use "presumptive" in front of "presidential candidate" -- Twitterers, you've got 11 characters back -- as the official roll call begins. Though for the sticklers, Romney's not officially the nominee until Thursday.

Besides the potential Paul brawl, watch for a speech by former candidate Rick Santorum tracking his entrepreneurship and welfare reform -- he's one of a bunch of speakers talking about how they built their businesses (and in my fantasy convention, at least one of them would complete that sentence with "on rock and roll").

Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will close out the night. And was Christie's megadiss of California Governor Jerry Brown as an "old retread" today just warming up for an epic dressing-down of Obama tomorrow?

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