Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 DNC: Roof Or Consequences

If you are one of tens of thousands possessing a ticket or pass for the 2012 Democratic National Convention on Thursday September 6 at Bank Of America Stadium, so sorry. And unlike a baseball game, you can't really get a rain check.

As was part of the risk of an outdoor event of this size, there's a 40% chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms for the Charlotte area this evening. So the DNC made the call in advance to bring it back inside to Time Warner Cable Arena.

Naturally the second-guessers are already out: Is the President afraid of a little rain? Was the DNC afraid President Obama couldn't fill a football stadium like he did in Denver in 2008 - what with the "enthusiasm gap" and all?

The President has given speeches in the driving rain, and done it recently.

But this is no ordinary deal. The political conventions, for both sides, are essentially choreographed pageants. A lot more goes into them than just a speech. They rarely go off-script, or off-timing.

And there's the audience to think about too. You'd be asking them to (possibly) stand around in the rain, sponging through Kerry and Biden until BO goes at 10:20 Eastern. If no enthusiasm gap existed before, there might be by then. So they're playing it safe, or for lack of any better word, conservatively.

I was faced with a similar situation before my outdoor wedding. We had to make the call 48 hours in advance whether we wanted to "tent the wedding" or bring it inside. Fortunately my wife-to-be was a member of the American Meteorological Society, and we decided not to lay out the additional expense and took our chances with Mother Nature.

It turns out there wasn't a drop, but July 5, 2003 turned out to be the hottest day of the year in NYC. For the comfort of our guests we should have moved it indoors. And in hindsight, maybe we could have used a little rain on our wedding day.

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