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Ear to the Ground

Weather Takes a Bad Turn for Mitt

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Posted on Aug 27, 2012
AP/Dave Martin

The Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the GOP convention is being held.

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Convention are being buffeted by a force outside their control: the weather. Tropical Storm Isaac already has caused the GOP to cancel Monday’s opening events in Tampa, Fla., and it’s not finished yet.

Isaac, which could become a hurricane before it makes landfall, is expected to hit the Gulf Coast region on Tuesday or Wednesday. Hurricane warnings have already been issued in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and parts of those three states are already under evacuation orders.

We all know—and so does the media—how the RNC will end: Romney will become the official Republican presidential nominee, Paul Ryan will officially be the GOP vice presidential nominee—but weather can be a tricky thing to predict. And there’s the fact that Isaac could go ashore near New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina and you can pretty much bet that the storm will draw most of the media’s focus at least for the next few days.

As Howard Kurtz wrote on The Daily Beast on Monday: “Take a tip from a veteran media-watcher. Don’t bet against the weather.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

Howard Kurtz via The Daily Beast:

Executive producers will have to choose between that dramatic tableau of potential death and destruction and the canned proceedings of a scripted convention and rather predictable speeches.

Let’s be generous and say media organizations spend half their time on the storm and half on the events in Tampa. That, after being rained out on Monday, represents a huge squandered opportunity for Mitt Romney.

This was to be his week, the chance to redefine himself in the national consciousness as a warm, concerned, church-going family man, and to introduce Paul Ryan as more than a green eyeshade budget-slasher. Romney can never get this time back. Next week will belong to Barack Obama and the Democrats in Charlotte, and after that a breakneck general election largely dominated by the three debates.

All because the weather took a bad turn.

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