Democrats announced that they will move President Obama's acceptance speech from an outdoor stadium to an indoor arena, citing forecasts of possible severe thunderstorms and lightning, a move that disappointed thousands of supporters.
Moving Thursday's convention proceedings from the giant Bank of America football stadium to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena severely limits the number of people who can attend. The indoor venue seats less than a third of what the stadium could hold. Republicans suggested that the Obama team couldn't fill the stadium seats, but Obama's team said they had credentialed 65,000 people to attend the speech, and that they had a waiting list of 19,000.
Meteorologists said this week's stormy weather in Charlotte -- including possible lightning on Thursday -- is in part a consequence of the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, the same storm that forced Republicans to cancel the first day of their convention in Tampa, Fla., last week.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that he had stepped down from his honorary position as co-chairman of President Obama's re-election campaign to help raise money for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by two former Obama aides. The deployment of Emanuel -- a former chief of staff to Obama and an aggressive fundraiser with close ties to the Obama and Clinton donor networks -- gives Democratic groups for the first time a dedicated rainmaker of a stature similar to Karl Rove, the strategist who advises a network of Republican outside groups. Emanuel will also raise money for two super PACs supporting Democrats in Congress.
NEW YORK TIMES
The Secret Service said Wednesday it is investigating the reported theft of copies of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's federal tax records during a break-in at an accounting office in Franklin. An anonymous letter sent to Romney's accounting firm and political offices in Tennessee demanded $1 million to prevent the disclosure of his tax filings. Romney's accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said there was no evidence that any Romney tax files were stolen. A Secret Service spokesman confirmed the agency was investigating.
It's a familiar tale in politics: a chance meeting that leads to an enduring partnership. Such is the story of Tracy Reese, the designer who met Michelle Obama at a campaign fundraiser in 2008. In her four years as first lady, Obama has worn Reese dresses for numerous engagements, culminating with the custom-made, rose-hued dress she chose Tuesday.
Obama has eschewed the red-and-blue palette often worn by convention speakers. Ann Romney, wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, chose a silk Oscar de la Renta gown in Nancy Reagan red (retailing at $1,990) for her address at the Republican National Convention, but Obama wore pink. Additionally, her convention attire avoided any controversy over price. Reese's off-the-rack dresses typically start at about $350; by buying a custom-made dress, Obama ensures that only confidants know the price.
CNN reports that Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Kerry Washington have been secretly scheduled to speak at the convention on Thursday.
The three actresses are listed as following the Foo Fighters on a tentative itinerary, CNN said. The report said a source said the hope is to have the three actors appear on stage together. CNN said it was unclear whether the schedule was subject to change.
NEW YORK TIMES