The big storm may have mostly bypassed Tampa, but the Republican convention remains under the figurative cloud of Hurricane Isaac, which is slowly churning toward the Gulf Coast. Our Bobby Cuza has that story.
TAMPA, Fla. -- "Here, we'll nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to be the next president and vice president of the United States of America," Reince Priebus said.
Tuesday, the Republicans got down to business at their convention in Tampa, but with something of a disclaimer.
Priebus said, "First, I'd like to offer our thoughts and prayers for the safety of those in the pathway of the hurricane."
Not only could the hurricane divert media attention from the Republicans' big showcase, there's the obvious image problem of Republican revelry amid devastation in the Gulf. But while convention organizers remain in regular contact with the National Weather Service, for now, no further schedule changes are being contemplated.
"Right now, you know, it's hard to say exactly what will wind up happening, other than the plan is for the program and show to go on," said Brian Jones, a Romney Campaign Advisor.
In Tampa, it was dry and mostly clear Tuesday. The passing storm barely registered, dropping just a couple inches of rain. The Gulf Coast, though, won't be so lucky.
With New Orleans bracing for another hit, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal skipped what had been a speaking role at the convention to deal with hurricane readiness.
"We’re gonna see heavy rains and heavy winds, in some areas 24 to 36 hours," Jundall said.
"We’re dealing with a big storm," President Barack Obama said.
President Obama addressed the hurricane in a White House briefing and again at a campaign stop.
Obama said, "When disaster strikes, we're not democrats or republicans first, we are Americans first. We’re one family."
As for Mitt Romney, he arrived in Tampa Tuesday ahead of his big acceptance speech Thursday night. Republicans hope by then, hurricane damage will have been minimal and attention will be re-focused on their convention.