As I wrote on Sunday, Democrats are already offering free tickets to Bank of America stadium to see President Obama formally accept the Democratic nomination for President on Thursday, and close out the Democratic National Convention.
Now, the Associated Press (h/t Fox News) has confirmed that the free tickets aren’t enough to guarantee a sold out crowd to watch the president’s acceptance speech. They will also be supplying a bus service through various outlets around the region.
College students from across North Carolina will arrive in Charlotte by the busload. Same with members of predominantly black churches in neighboring South Carolina.
Their goal: help fill a 74,000-seat outdoor stadium to capacity when President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination Thursday night.
Anything short of a full house on the final night of the Democratic Party’s national convention will be instant fodder for Republicans eager to use empty seats as symbols of waning voter enthusiasm for Obama.
Democrats have been fretting for months over whether the president can draw a capacity crowd at Bank of America Stadium. Polls show voter enthusiasm is down, as are Obama’s crowds for his battleground state campaign rallies.
As was the case with the offer of free tickets, there’s nothing wrong with providing a free bus service to attract supporters to your candidate’s speech. However, it is a telling signal of a weakening and confidence deprived campaign.
In 2008, then Senator Obama easily packed the 84,000 seat stadium in Denver to accept his party’s nomination. But this is 2012 and the Obama campaign is having to face some hard realities about the change in voter enthusiasm surrounding their candidate.
Even if Obama had used buses in 2008 to draw in supporters to see his speech, he certainly didn’t need to do so to get them there.
In 2012, he absolutely needs to.
Despite the puffery by Obama campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, that they were “confident we’ll be full” when asked about the possibility of empty seats for Thursday, it appears mother nature may provide a fail safe in case the free tickets and busing proves to be insufficient. (h/t Instapundit)
“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 capacity of the indoor arena? 20,000.
This is the state of Obamamania circa 2012, a shell of its former self.