Pat Robertson, Call Your Office


Isaac doesn't appear to be a Republican, and not only because it presents on the weather map as a throbbing purple penis surrounded by a rainbow:

The Boston Globe reports that Romney's staff, while moving forward with plans for a three-day convention, "also realizes that Isaac's potentially horrid wrath could eclipse any bunting-draped imagery they generate inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum." And appearing callous could "render the whole convention exercise a net loss for their candidate, rather than a positive force propelling him into the fall campaign." Along with the optics of humanity, there are also practical matters to worry about, the Times reports, like media coverage: "even if the storm largely bypasses this region, it holds the risk of creating an uncomfortable split-screen image, especially if it continues barreling toward New Orleans" [near the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina].

So far the start of the convention is postponed until tomorrow night. The storm already rained on Ron Paul's parade. So why pick hurricane-prone Tampa to begin with?

First, Florida is the mother of all swing states with the most electoral votes (29) of any swing state. Tampa is in Hillsborough County, which gave Bush 53 percent in 2004 and Obama 53 percent in 2008, so it is a large (1.2 million people) swing county. Neighboring counties, including Hernando, Pasco, and Polk are reddish, and Romney needs to win big there to counter expected losses in South Florida. The area has also been hit hard economically, so an economic pitch is likely to resonate. All in all, the area is a big battleground. Showering attention on it is a smart move for the Republicans.