Bad weather has forced President Barack Obama to move Thursday’s major re-election pitch away from a 70,000-seater stadium to a much smaller indoor venue, organizers said.
“We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area,” the Democratic National Convention Committee said Wednesday.
“Therefore we have decided to move Thursday’s proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests.”
The Thursday address was scheduled to take place in the Bank of America stadium, a dramatic finale to the Democrats’ national convention rally.
It will now take place in an arena used for college basketball, with a capacity of about 20,000.
The decision robs Obama of an opportunity to rekindle memories of his rousing stadium addresses four years ago, which helped build his reputation as a master orator and the figurehead of a mass movement for change.
It also robs the president of an opportunity to speak directly to a swathe of voters in a key swing state that he won by just 14,000 votes in 2008 and where today he trails in the polls to rival Mitt Romney.
Just days ago officials had insisted the event would go ahead as planned, “come rain or shine.”
According to the National Weather Service, there is “a chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight” on Thursday with the likelihood of precipitation placed at about 30 percent.
Republicans revelled in the news and implied the move may have been prompted by a lack of support.
“The Democrats continue to downgrade convention events due to lack of enthusiasm — this time they are moving out of Bank of America/Panther stadium. Problems filling the seats?” asked Republican spin doctor Kirsten Kukowski.
Democrats refuted that charge and said 65,000 tickets had been allocated.
Ahead of the event, tickets available on the Internet were being offered for as much as $230 a piece.
Organizers had earlier handed out tens of thousands of “community credentials” on a first-come-first-served basis.
In August local media reported thousands of people waited in line for hours for a chance to get a ticket only to leave empty-handed.
With days to go before the speech, local Internet sites were littered with locals willing to pay for tickets.
The Democratic convention, which opened Tuesday, has already seen its fair share of wet weather.
On Tuesday, braving bouts of torrential rain, tens of thousands of Obama supporters took over downtown Charlotte Monday as Jeff Bridges and James Taylor kicked off festivities.
With under nine weeks to go to election day national polls show the Republican and Democratic nominees neck-and-neck, but Obama is given the edge in a majority of the key swing states.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019