Politics

‘Best weather of the entire week’: Local meteorologist puzzled by Obama speech move

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The chief meteorologist at a Charlotte television station is questioning the decision by Democrats to move President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention to a smaller venue because of the weather.

“Thursday night will likely be the best weather of the entire week,” Brad Panovich of WCNC-NBC TV wrote on Twitter in reference to when Obama’s speech was planned to take place at the outside Bank of America stadium, which can accommodate 70,000 people.

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday announced that the weather is forcing them to relocate Obama’s speech to the Time Warner Cable Arena, which is inside and holds a far fewer 22,000 people.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning after the news broke, Panovich said there’s only a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain or storms and argued that “if you are going to move inside for this small risk you could have done that days ago.”

Said Panovich: “My main point is if you were going to move inside for the small [weather] threat Thursday [,you] could have made that decision a week ago.”

“It’s a simple question.. if you had a #Panthers game, Concert or Soccer match with a 20% chance of storms would you cancel 24hrs prior?” he asked.

Republicans reacted to the news asking whether the change is really because the Democrats are worried about filling enough seats in the outdoor venue for the video cameras.

“Problems filling the seats?” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told reporters in a Wednesday email.

Democrats said they’re moving the event for safety reasons.

“We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, 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,” said convention CEO Steve Kerrigan.

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