"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 Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan in a statement.
According to The New York Times, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters earlier in the week, "We plan to be there rain or shine — unless there's a safety issue."
The announcement comes a day after Republican blogs and The Drudge Report picked up a Daily Mail story headlined "Democrats set to move Obama's big speech from 74,000-seater outdoor stadium to 20,000-seater indoor arena." While that story noted concerns about the weather, it was cast as an attempt by the Democrats to stave off political embarrassment. "Democrats are poised to avoid the danger of President Barack Obama accepting his party's nomination before a partially-empty stadium by shifting his speech to an indoor arena and citing 'severe weather," the story read.
The statement from the Democrats implies that over 65,000 people had been credentialed for the event -- and that most of those will have to make do with a conference call. "The President will speak to these credential holders on a national conference call tomorrow afternoon, and we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the President between now and election day."