TAMPA, Fla. — With Tropical Storm Isaac brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, the Republican National Convention schedule was truncated to the extreme Monday. RNC Chair Reince Priebus gaveled in and out a ten-minute session, and hosts cancelled and delayed many events surrounding the convention.
Isaac did not directly hit Tampa Monday; by Monday afternoon it amounted to scattered showers — at times heavy — and a bit of wind. The sun came out sporadically around the convention center.
Yet convention delegates on the floor who spoke with The Daily Caller explained that unofficially delaying the convention’s starting gun was the right thing to do. (RELATED: RNC unveils national debt clock, immediately recesses)
Hawaii delegate Jamie Shidel told TheDC that while his plans did not change much, the Hawaii delegation did stockpile some water, just in case.
“Better to be careful than take the risk of business as usual,” he said, noting that he is “confident” that the GOP has a chance to take Obama’s home state of Hawaii.
John Bates, an Oklahoma delegate, stressed the uncertainty of the schedule and took notice of all the people milling about the convention floor.
“I understand why they did what they did,” Bates said, referring to the delay, “because if you miss it, there is no way to be right. I mean, even if you are right you’re wrong because it is a Hurricane.”
Michael Coleman, a Maine delegate, told TheDC that his plans have not changed. He’s both pleased the storm’s center missed Tampa and concerned Isaac’s path could spell trouble elsewhere.
”Its a little windy, a little more windy than we’re used to up in Maine,” he said, but not too bad overall.
Kentucky delegate Kevin Smith said things have been going smoothly for his delegation despite the rain.
“We are really looking forward to the speakers,” he said, adding that he appreciated the safety-first focus.
Tina Dupont of Michigan, an alternate delegate, told TheDC that the delay gave her a chance to see more of the convention venue.
“They have moved so many things, like today this would have been going on and its not. And maybe it is good for us because as an alternate I can be down here on the floor,” she said.
“I won’t probably get much of an opportunity. So in a way maybe it’s been good for me but not for the overall event.”
Jim Ayala, a Nevada delegate and Ron Paul supporter, noted the sizable turnout for the quick-gavel event despite Isaac’s shadow looming large.
“The weather doesn’t really seem to be affecting anything at all,” he said. “We were told by some ‘official sources’ that this event wasn’t even going to happen today. And look how many people there are.”
“Better safe than sorry.”