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August 26, 2012

Major Storm Impacts US Political Convention

by Michael Bowman

In U.S. politics, Republican Party officials are predicting a successful presidential nominating convention in Tampa, Florida, despite the approach of a powerful storm that forced the cancellation of Monday’s planned activities.  The four-day convention to nominate former governor Mitt Romney to face President Barack Obama in the November election has been pared down to three.

Every detail of the Republican National Convention was planned months in advance to provide the biggest boost possible for Mitt Romney and the party as a whole. Now the convention schedule is being reworked as a result of an unpredictable factor: the weather.  Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to become a hurricane and pass near Tampa late Monday.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says Isaac will not derail the gathering.

“The show is going to go on. We are going to get the business done at the RNC [Republican National Convention]," he said.  "We are going to nominate Mitt Romney and [vice presidential nominee] Paul Ryan.  We are going to have a great time here in Tampa.”.

Priebus spoke on the U.S. television program Fox News Sunday.  He said Monday’s convention activities were canceled to ensure the safety of attendees, and that he could not rule out further scheduling changes if the need arises.

“Obviously, we are going to take it as it comes.  We are going to be nimble, we are going to do the right thing," said Priebus. "Safety first.”

National conventions are prime opportunities for America’s main political parties to deliver messages to voters and influence public opinion.  They are considered particularly crucial for an opposition party’s efforts to introduce a presidential contender on the national stage.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is one of many Republicans expected to address delegates.  Appearing on ABC’s This Week program, McDonnell predicted the convention will rally the party and broaden its appeal with the American people.

“The independent voters are going to start tuning in now and want to see Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan speak," he added. "So I think we will still get a fair amount of attention and the message will be good.”

Democrats will nominate President Barack Obama for a second term in office next week in North Carolina.