Mother Nature has stepped in to force the Republican Party to squeeze its nominating convention into three nights, each of which will receive an hour of network TV coverage.
In terms of reaching a broad general election audience, the cancellation of the first night of the convention isn't a complete loss for the GOP because the major TV networks did not plan to air Ann Romney's speech in the first place. Mitt Romney's address to the party faithful, which industry experts say is the marquee event of his campaign, is scheduled for Thursday night.
Republican strategists have told media outlets that they plan to use the event to soften Romney's image, which has been battered by months of campaign ads questioning his role at Bain Capital. Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in terms of likability is various polls.
You can bet the Republicans will also keep a close eye on Tropical Storm Isaac as it nears the Gulf Coast. The GOP's move to cancel the first day of the convention was smart, but the last thing it needs is to be seen as partying it up while a major American city – especially New Orleans – suffers in the storm's aftermath