REPUBLICANS, TV EXECS WORRY, WHAT WILL ISAAC DO? (Updated)
Hurricane experts were saying on Friday that it’s still too early to forecast the likely path of Tropical Storm Isaac, let alone its strength, if and when it hits the U.S. on Monday. Network executives are continuing to make contingency plans in case the Republican National Convention is forced to move from Tampa, which could be hard hit if Isaac drives into the Gulf and becomes a full-fledged hurricane by Monday, the first day of the convention. Then again, there’s the question that the TV news execs must come to grips with of how much time and attention to devote to the weather and how much to politics. Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Friday that he has been in touch with presumed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “I gave him assurance that this state is a state that has dealt with hurricanes in the past,” Scott said. “We’re ready if that’s what happens but hopefully it won’t happen.” Romney himself tried to milk the situation for a bit of political value. “There may be some wind, a little rain,” he said. “But the winds of change are coming.”
UPDATE: As of Saturday morning Isaac appeared to be picking up strength as it passed over Haiti, heading towards Cuba and the Florida Keys. RNC organizers said they were continuing to monitor the situation but that they presently have no plans to move or cancel the convention. They may have no choice in the matter, however. The Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the convention is being held, is located in a mandatory evacuation zone, i.e. delegates would be required to evacuate should Isaac reach Category 2 status (winds of 96 mph), a relatively low-grade hurricane.