All the Republican's carefully scripted plans for the convention in Tampa got thrown for a loop when the Republican National Committee reluctantly canceled the first day of the GOP convention because of concerns for the safety of delegates. Hurricane Isaac will hit the Tampa area late tonight and will create hazardous conditions for delegates on Monday.
Republicans announced Saturday that they had effectively canceled the first day of its convention for safety concerns associated with an impending hurricane.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that "the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th.
That move essentially postpones the activities of the first of four scheduled days of the convention. But Priebus said in a conference call with reporters that the details of the revised schedule were not yet settled, and could be announced as soon as Sunday. "The Republican National Convention is going to take place. We know that we will officially nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan," he said.
Romney will now be formally nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate on Tuesday instead of Monday, said Russ Schriefer, a senior strategist for the Romney campaign.
"Right now, we expect that the roll call will just take place on Tuesday," he said.
Convention organizers had pushed ahead with the gathering as planned for much of the week, even as it seemed, for some time, that Isaac was on a direct trajectory toward Tampa.
As it stands now, SC Governor Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush will lose their speaking slots, although I would expect them to scramble and try to get Jeb up on the dais sometime over the remaining three days of the convention. They need the former Florida governor as part of their strategy to give the ticket a boost in a state Romney has to have to win.
Huckabee is far less likely to be rescheduled. There are many in the party who are livid with his open embrace of the toxic Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, and his bitter criticisms of the GOP "establishment" for trying to get Akin out of the race. But Romney can ill afford to make an enemy of Huckabee so he may get 10 minutes sometime later in the convention.
Make no mistake, this is a setback for Romney. But it is a small one and if everything else goes according to plan, it will be forgotten when the last echoes of applause for Mr. Romney's acceptance speech fade away.