CHARLOTTE–The decision to move President Barack Obama’s Democratic nomination acceptance speech from the massive Bank of America Stadium indoors to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena has hit the North Carolina delegation especially hard. Thursday night’s speech in the open-air stadium before a rousing crowd of tens or thousands was to be the icing on the cake for a Democratic National Convention that has put battleground state North Carolina and the city of Charlotte in the international spotlight.
DNC and Obama campaign officials said the call was made to move the speech – the culminating event of the four-day convention – because weather forecasters are calling for stormy weather. This week much of the state, including Charlotte, has seen heavy rain.
Not long after the DNC announced the move, Susan Campbell, the chair of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, began receiving phone calls from disappointed President Obama supporters back home.
“I completely understand,” Campbell said of the decision to relocate the speech, “but it is just too bad.”
Forsyth Dems had planned to bring two bus-loads of supporters to the speech. Now, those folks and droves of others won’t be able to attend at all. More than 65,000 credentials were given for the stadium speech. Time Warner Cable Arena can’t possible accommodate a crowd of that size.
The DNC and Obama Campaign said they will try to make it up to disappointed supporters by ensuring that they will get an opportunity to hear the president speak live and in person before the Nov. 6 election.
State Rep. Mickey Micheaux, who represents Durham in the N.C. House of Representatives, says that those who feel down about missing out on a chance to witness history, should show their support for the president in a much more tangible way: with their votes in November.
“People can still be involved in that way,” he said.
Micheaux’s colleague, Guilford County House Rep. Alma Adams, agreed. She doesn’t expect voters to have hard feelings.
“This is God’s will,” she said. “We can’t control the weather. The president can’t control that.”