Nightly News | September 05, 2012
>> for the news of this convention, as we mentioned, it's the weather forceing a change of venue. new plans for closing night when the president was scheduled to speak in front of about 65,000 people in an outdoor stadium. nbc's andrea mitchell down by the podium for us tonight. andrea, good evening.
>> good evening, brian. campaign officials did not want to pull the plug. but in a close race they couldn't take the chance of endangering thousands of people by stranding them in the middle of a storm. with thunderstorms drenching charlotte all week, democrats waited until the last possible moment before finally lowering the flags and striking the set for tomorrow's supersized finale.
>> there's a chang chance for thunderstorms and there will be on thursday. any time there are thunderstorms, no place outside is safe.
>> i think first of all, people understand. we don't want people to be hurt. we don't want them out in the thunder and lightning and rain.
>> reporter: republicans immediately said the event was downgraded due to lack of enthusiasm. but there was no shortage of enthusiasm here last night. the campaign says 65,000 people had lined up to get tickets, 19,000 more wait listed. the plan was to talk to all of them in line. a massive registration drive in a critical battleground state . now the fallback plan is a call and video from the president and a return visit before election day .
>> i was really looking forward to this. i got my tickets. i was so excited. i waited four hours in line for it to be denied.
>> it's the weather. what are we supposed to do, control the weather? democrats are powerful. come on, there's a limit.
>> the rain, wherever they have to move him to, let him just know this, we got his back.
>> reporter: the outdoor rally was supposed to recreate the excitement of denver four years ago surrounding the president with cheering supporters and fireworks. now they don't have time to organize a balloon drop, the big finish at political conventions. the challenge now for the campaign is to create the excitement for the president's speech when he comes here tomorrow night in this much smaller arena before a much smaller crowd while still battling the perception that he is getting less enthusiastic support from voters than he did four years ago when he first ran.
>> brought back flashbacks of that night we almost lost you amid the balloons on the convention floor.