The Republican National Committee this evening released a new condensed schedule for the Tampa convention, which was cut short a day by Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected path as it moves across southern Florida and into the Gulf.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will be at the hall for a quick, 5-minute gaveling in at the convention Monday with an immediate recess until Tuesday. A clock indicating how much debt has been added to the national tally in the time span of the convention will also be started.
Monday’s headliners were all shuffled into Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will cap off Tuesday night; Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are the final speakers on Wednesday; and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mitt Romney still finish out the convention on Thursday.
On a conference call with reporters this evening, convention organizers were asked how the “optics” of the conference would be if Isaac wreaks devastation on the Gulf Coast mid-week as the GOP parties in Tampa.
“There’s a weather event; we all know that the weather event is there … we’re obviously monitoring what’s going on with the weather,” said Russ Schriefer, Romney for President Strategist. “Our concern has to be with the people who are in the path of the storm.”
“Communities from New Orleans to Pensacola are being put on high alert for a direct landfall from future Category 2 Hurricane Isaac around Tuesday night,” reported Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, this afternoon. “…Ironically, Isaac is expected to threaten lives and property along the northern Gulf Coast seven years to the date of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating landfall.”
Still, the convention is forging ahead and Schriefer said Monday’s theme, “We can do better,” “can easily be put into the entire program.”
Schriefer was asked whether the convention could be pushed into Friday depending on what happens with the storm.
“Certainly if the weather changes in a way that we have to make some changes — it’s a hypothetical question and I really don’t want to answer it in that way,” he said.