Republican National Convention: What to Expect in Tampa

Tropical Storm Isaac has brought about significant changes to the schedule, but the show does go on

Tropical Storm Isaac and its projected path are serving up challenges for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, causing last-minute scheduling changes. Monday's kick-off has been delayed, save for a minutes-long, symbolic convening of the program for 50,000 delegates and media folks.

Mitt Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer told reporters Sunday evening that the headline speakers for Monday will speak instead later in the week and other daytime speakers had been dropped from the program or will deliver shortened versions of their speeches, according to the Washington Post. Governors of four states who are likely to be affected by the storm -- Florida's Rick Scott, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindall, Mississippi’s Phil Bryant and Alabama’s Robert Bentley -- have all cancelled or modified their speaking plans.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's speech was pushed to Tuesday night, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will now speak on Wednesday night and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will make his remarks on Thursday night, according to CNN.

What won't change are the plans for Wednesday night's speech by vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan and Thursday's marquee speech by the party's nominee, Romney.

Ann Romney will speak in primetime on Tuesday, as will New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"I think frankly Thursday night is going to be the big show ... and nobody can articulate Romney's message better than Romney," Jim Poolman, vice chairman of the North Dakota GOP, told NBC Washington.

Of course, Isaac also adds another element of complexity to the convention schedule, beyond just scheduling and logistics: It will be up to Romney and the entire republican group to strike the right chord. They'll want to be both aggressive in their bid for new leadership in the White House and appropriately respectful of the suffering wrought by the storm -- and past storms such as Hurricane Katrina, which struck seven years ago this week.

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Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and iVillage's Chief Election News Blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.

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