It's Friday morning, and we're all waiting to see the noon forecast for Isaac. They're saying that a lot of the tracks keep Isaac west of Tampa, but not all the tracks. Certainly the most important thing for everyone in the cone of uncertainty is to prepare. It's been years since a major hurricane made a direct hit on the US, but even "minor" ones have had serious impacts (think Irene and Vermont last year) so it's critical for those in the projected impact areas to avoid complacency. So if you're in the potential path, get your generator, board your windows, prepare your emergency kit, and make your plans in case evacuation is necessary. End public service announcement - back to our regularly scheduled politics.
If the Tampa convention is impacted, there are number of things that are both good and bad for Mitt and his minions. First up, Sunday. A lot of people will descend on Tampa for the convention. If air travel is disrupted, that's a blow to the people that can get there, especially as flights are pushed out. Most planes are flying near capacity, and if enough flights are cancelled initially, some people might not make the first few days. Unlikely that would include the major press outlets. But its disruptive.
Further, no matter where Isaac hits, they'll likely cut short their evenings, as happened with Hurricane Jeanne in 2008. Remember that the reason that the massive influx of dark money into political advertising hasn't moved the needle much is not just that there are few undecideds. It appears from all polling data that the more people get to "know" Mittens, the more they dislike him. All the negative advertising against President Obama doesn't touch a lot of people, they've had years to get to know him. They might not like the economy, but they like him. Mittens? Not so much. They're going to absolutely hate him if the GOP is seen partying and nominating and having a grand old time while people in other parts of the Gulf are losing their homes, injured, and possibly killed.
Likely, if there is disruption to the convention, it will just be shortened and not moved. It only changes dates if by tonight the paths indicate a direct hit on Tampa. Moving it causes all sorts of logistic nightmares, and once we're into September, there are football games to contend with, the Jewish holidays (and having 0% black support, limited women, Hispanic and young voters, means he needs to hold onto his 15% Jewish support, and he won't win any friends speaking during the holiest days of the Jewish year) and the debates.
[From Matt: Changing the dates of the convention is very problematic. In addition to the issues DocJess raises, there are two others. First, logistical: Hotels will not be available, and the venue might not be available. Second, legal. Some states require an official nominee 60 days before the election. Deadlines would be very close. They could always officially nominate Romney outside of the convention, but Kerry got a lot of flack for floating that idea in 2004 (in order to get his general election money early)]
There is no way to say this without coming off callous, and I honestly do want Isaac to dissipate and die in the Gulf (yeah, I know, not likely, the water is too warm) because I don't like to see the destruction, but, you have to admit that the potential for snark is huge. All those years of hearing the wacko right wingnuts talk about divine retribution and then they take a direct hit during their festivities?
And so we wait and watch. I meant what I said in the first paragraph: get ready if you're in the path. Complacency kills.