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Hurricane Isaac delays start of Republican National Convention in Tampa

As in 2008, Republicans scramble to adjust speaking and travel schedules to cope with the hurricane. The vote to formally nominate Mitt Romney shifts to Tuesday – for now. Stay tuned.


Workers prepare the stage for the Republican National Convention inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday, in Tampa, Fla.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Hurricane Isaac will sink at least one day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this week, organizers announced Saturday evening.

The convention will convene Monday but suspend all activities until a time to be determined on Tuesday, a senior strategist for Mitt Romney, the chair of the national Republican Party, and the convention’s president said in a conference call with reporters.

“We believe that even though we were planning on doing it four days, we think we can absolutely do it in three,” said Russ Schriefer, the senior Romney strategist, on the call.

The cancellation marks the second consecutive Republican National Convention to have a first day cancelled due to storms. In 2008, hurricane Gustav hit landfall in Louisiana just as the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn., was to begin.

Now, hurricane Issac brings up a few logistical questions on a stage where logistics matter: Conventions for both parties are highly choreographed showcases of the party in which the order of speakers, for example, is assembled carefully to ensure that both party insiders and the viewing public see an appealing image.

Monday was the day scheduled for the vote to formally nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate – that vote will move back to Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said.

No state delegations have backed out of the convention, and the organizers said they were working to secure alternative transportation and accommodation options should the need arise.


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