KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Local delegates at the Republican National Convention said Tuesday that Hurricane Isaac has cast a cloud over this year's events.
They acknowledged they now face a political storm of sorts in Florida as Isaac heads toward the Louisiana coast.
Delegates from both the Kansas and Missouri cast their votes Tuesday afternoon for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but the official nominations will not be made until Thursday.
One of the party's most exciting times comes as delegates said the party could face an encroaching storm of its own.
A national convention is supposed to be one of the sunniest experiences in the life of a presidential campaign. Leaders rally excitement among the party's faithful for an uninterrupted three to four-night prime time campaign to sway swing voters.
UMKC political science professor Max Skidmore explained the importance of a broadcasted national convention.
"It gives you a boost, showcases your ideas, but also it will humanize (Romney), present him as a warm, fuzzy figure rather than a cold hearted businessman who ships jobs abroad," explained Skidmore. "They have an opportunity to present their best case."
But Republicans trying to salvage the shortened convention face a stiff challenge: Help Romney make an aggressive, memorable argument to voters to replace President Barack Obama, while being careful to avoid the appearance of unseemly celebration as the Gulf Coast is under the threat of a hurricane.
"It reminds people of Katrina," Skidmore said. "It's overall a dangerous situation for the Republicans."
Local delegates in Tampa on Tuesday said they could tell just the reminder of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster many thought Republican President George W. Bush mishandled, has already dampened the convention's celebratory tone.
However, one of Romney's top advisors told 41 Action News on Tuesday that this is not a Category 5 political storm for them.
"The plan is to move forward with the business at hand of nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,"
said Brian Jones, speaking from Tampa.
But advisors did say that if the storm hits on Tuesday night, they may have to change plans.
Republicans were forging ahead on Tuesday afternoon to have Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speak about the kind of storm that will grow if Obama is re-elected.
"A lot of people like President Obama, but there's a sense of disappointment in his policies," Jones said. "We'll begin tonight to tell the Mitt Romney story in a fuller fashion in a way, as you put it, to directly connect with voters who are already on board with Mitt Romney and those who may not be. We're talking about a better future for our country, Mitt Romney's vision for the future and how he'll help get our country back on track in terms of jobs and the economy."
Conventions generally give political candidates a boost, but pundits say most independents don't decide who to vote for until the last month or even week out of the November election.
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