TAMPA, FLA. — In his daily note to clients Monday, Art Cashin, UBS Financial Services director of floor operations at the NYSE, deviated from his usual market analysis to comment on the effect that Hurricane Isaac could have on the 2012 presidential election.
Here’s the excerpt:
Hurricane Isaac may turn out to be an early present for the Democrats. Not onlydid it force the Republicans to postpone and abbreviate their convention, it shadows the whole event.
The Republicans were hoping for an unalloyed opportunity to get out their message and the image of their candidates. If Isaac worsens (likely), it will detract attention from the convention. If, heavenforbid, it causes damage or injury, it may blot out any convention message. Further, conventioneers couldn’t celebrate against images of damage and suffering. Lastly, a shift toward New Orleans would drag up all those Katrina memories and contentions.
Here in Tampa, organisers at the Republican National Convention are at once acutely aware of the potential messaging nightmare that Hurricane Isaac could bring, and determined not to let it derail Mitt Romney’s coronation all together.
“We expect no change over the next three days, we are in full speed planning ahead,” Romney campaign stragist Russ Schriefer told reporters on a conference call Monday evening. “Moving forward, there’s no change in the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule.”
“Obviously our thoughts are with people who are in the path of the storm, and hoping that there is no major disruption,” he added.
At a press briefing earlier in the day, Schriefer refused to answer “hypotheticals” about how the campaign planned to shift its message and tone in the event that Hurricane Isaac wrecks havoc on the Gulf Coast, saying that the campaign and the RNC would reevaluate convention programming as necessary.
The latest forecasts project Isaac will hit New Orleans early Wednesday morning.
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