Tropical storm Isaac has killed at least four people in Haiti and is headed for Key West, but is expected to drench Tampa, host of the GOP convention, without hitting the city head-on.
The storm began to batter the Florida Keys Sunday morning, and forecasters expect it to be no worse than a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, packing winds up to 100 miles per hour (160 kph). As of 2 a.m. Miami time Sunday, the storm was carrying winds of 60 mph (95 kph).
The Republican party postponed the scheduled Monday start of the convention by one day as Key West braced for the first hurricane to strike in seven years.
This is not the first time a hurricane has plagued the Republic party. The delegation from Florida left the 2004 convention in New York early when Hurricane Frances headed for the state, and the Republican National Committee decided to scrap the first day of the 2008 convention in Minnesota and instead spend energy to help victims of Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana.
The latest storm prompted one journalist to wonder whether HaShem is delivering a message. Veteran journalists often have a hard time enjoying the politicking and low-brow atmosphere of the Democratic and Republican party conventions.
Scott Maxwell of the Orlando, Florida Sentinel wrote, “In 2004, Florida's delegation had to leave the New York convention early when Hurricane Frances was bearing down on the Sunshine State. In 2008, Hurricane Gustav prompted the RNC to scuttle the first day's plan.
“I'm beginning to think G-d simply can't stomach four full days of the RNC.
“I'm not sure most of America can either — the Republicans or the Democrats.
Both party's conventions — once crucial cogs in America's Democracy — are now little more than four straight days of talking points and hyperbole.”