With Tropical Storm Isaac ripping close to the coast of Florida, forcing the GOP to cancel today's convention events, Mitt Romney and the Republican leaders are now scrambling to condense their four nights of carefully choreographed political theater into just three, reports the New York Times. Already wind speeds have forced organizers to take down tents covering security screening stations. Tomorrow's events could also be canceled if the storm takes a turn for the worse.
Isaac also promises to be a news hog. Already news operations are diverting resources to areas where they expect Isaac to land, including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (which have all declared states of emergency). Making matters more complicated are the potential images of a likely Category 2 hurricane slamming into the nearby coast, creating uncomfortable contrasts with the pomp of a national political convention. “Images of revelry by Republicans at a time of suffering by other Americans—no party wants those optics,” said Steve Schmidt, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, when another hurricane forced the cancellation of one night of the convention. But GOP officials say no matter what happens, they'll be able to formalize Romney's nomination by the end of the week, launching official campaigning. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)