Tropical Storm Isaac may have delayed Republican presumptive vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's arrival in Tampa by a day and pushed back the GOP's convention festivities, but the speeches, parties and of course, official nomination of Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul (R-WI), will go on as planned.
Delegates are still trying to make their way to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the GOP convention. Over the weekend convention organizers cut the program to three days from four over concerns that Isaac would slam the Tampa area.
The National Weather Service says Isaac will likely become a Category 2 Hurricane overnight and reach landfall within the next 24 hours. Thousands of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi residents were told to evacuate their homes and the governors of the three Gulf States have each declared a state emergency. Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, reporting from Tampa, says in the above video that senior Romney officials are closely monitoring Isaac's activity and would make major changes to the already-truncated program if Isaac becomes more destructive.
"The notion of the specter of [Hurricane] Katrina being a presence here in the Republican National Convention could be pretty tricky to navigate," Chalian tells The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task.
Isaac may have postponed parts of the meticulously planned and choreographed convention dance but the Republican Party's heavy hitters such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are still scheduled to speak at the quadrennial convention. On Thursday Romney will formally receive his party's nomination and his acceptance speech to the thousands gathered in the stands could "be the biggest of his life," says Chalian.
Mother nature may be the most pressing concern for Romney and his campaign at the moment but the former Massachusetts governor has bigger problems on his plate says Chalian. Registered voters polled in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey picked Romney over Obama by a razor-thin margin. But Romney's lead should have been larger because the majority of those polled also said they disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy.
"Those kinds of numbers should mean Obama is out of this race already," Chalian notes. "The fact that [Obama] isn't is" partly because "Romney has not made the case he's a better alternative. [Romney] is also going to have to make the case…that he would be a better steward on the economy and he has to make that case more cogently than he has up until now."
The sluggish economic recovery has been and will continue to be the dominant theme in this highly-charged election cycle. Romney currently has outpaced President Obama in donations and holds a massive monetary advantage. Upon receiving the Republican presidential nomination, Romney will have access to another $186 million to spend against his opponent.