After canceling Day 1 of the Republican Convention due to weather, and with Tropical Storm Isaac now gathering steam with a bead on New Orleans, the chatter now includes the possibility of further postponements. Might that reason have to do with basic compassion? the re-deployment of security resources? Try optics.
From yesterday’s NYT (“Storm Rewrites G.O.P.’s Script for Convention”):
Republicans were wary of the optics of television coverage split between the revelry and partisanship surrounding Mr. Romney’s nomination and the threat of the storm making landfall in Louisiana or Mississippi seven years to the week after Hurricane Katrina left an American city in ruins.
“Images of revelry by Republicans at a time of suffering by other Americans — no party wants those optics,” said Steve Schmidt, who helped lead Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “You have terrible awareness of all that stuff.”
In an age in which everyone is a handicapper and an arm-chair political strategist, what’s depressing, but otherwise taken for granted, is that the only thing playing havoc with the status of the RNC is perception. Otherwise, with the dog whistle strategy now in place, GPS Crossroads launching race-baiting attacks on Medicare and welfare from it’s deep well of cash, Romney and the Republicans could care less about New Orleans. As I tweeted just last Tuesday about what turns out to be an auspicious tiptoe into Bayou Country on a major cash foray:
Romney hits NOLA for $50k per head dinner. No photo ops besides airport snaps. Katrina’s done and gone.
Those snaps that were taken, by the way, were with NOLA police officers.
The way the situation is trending, considering the photos above by Brendan Hoffman taken last night outside a Tampa Republican Convention “Senate Leadership Party” reportedly sponsored by Aflac, Chevron, and Blue Cross Blue Shield (or this Getty wire photo of a Republican woman with her gold bag protecting her head with a rain slicker and getting a chuckle out of it), what’s getting wet are some serious expectations for re-re-introducing Mitt again. Pulling for a nation parked in front of the television set watching the Mitt Show, not the Weather Channel and a humanitarian disaster, what the party is also facing is a potential Category 2 disappointment over a dashed good time.
PHOTOGRAPHS by Brendan Hoffman/Prime.
(caption: The scene outside a Tampa Republican Convention “Senate Leadership Party” reportedly sponsored by Aflac, Chevron, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.)