If you've seen Tampa on the news, you know that the the convention area, including the convention center and a couple hotels are where "A" is on the map.
What you might not know is that in the peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is where the majority of the delegates, alternates, media, guests and others will be staying. ("B" on map).
Notice the yellow circle which covers the 3 bridges that take people from one side to the other? Imagine those bridges closing due storm surge, high winds and/or potential damage. The trip, barring traffic ends up increasing from about 30 minutes to about 3 hours. Each way.
While Isaac is tracking more westerly, a storm surge of 3 - 5 feet is likely in Tampa Bay, and it is possible that it could go a little higher than that. Remember that hurricanes do an incredible amount of wind damage. It was not Hurricane Katrina's winds and rain that did in New Orleans, it was the storm surge. And Tampa is just a few feet above sea level in most places.
While the track keeps shifting, at this moment it looks like a Category 2 Isaac will hit Mobile bay, although the cone goes from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. It all depends on how much strength the Gulf's warm waters provide, the winds and just "luck".
The bottom line is that while Tampa will avoid a direct hurricane hit, on Wednesday, during the overnight hours, Isaac will make US landfall somewhere. The image of the GOP holding a big party while people are in danger is not a pretty one. The RNC is still working on their schedule, but normally, the candidate makes the big speech on Thursday night. In this case, that will be a day of assessment, clean-up and emergency management.
11AM update:: Tampa has a 56% chance of TS winds, but now a 0% chance of hurricane winds.