Bad weather moves Obama's speech at DNC



CHARLOTTE, NC - The threat of bad weather has triggered a major change for President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

WFTV's Jorge Estevez is in Charlotte covering the DNC and he learned organizers were forced to downsize the event.

The president's speech was supposed to happen Thursday night in front of 60,000 people at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. But stormy weather forced the event into the Time Warner Cable Arena, which only holds 15,000 people. Despite that major cut, the president's message has been getting out to potential voters.

Local Central Florida leaders have formed the council of mayors. They have been helpful because while there is a growing distrust in national leaders, local politicians like the ones in central Florida still have the people's attention.

The new Democratic strategy uses local leaders to deliver the Democratic message not only in Charlotte, but also back in cities like Orlando to energize voters in the Interstate 4 corridor.

"Any polling will indicate that there is much more trust in local elected officials that are closest to the people," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Central Florida Democrats attending the convention understand why.

"Those are the ones that among the elected officials really have the pulse of the community and those concerns," said Brevard delegate Shannon Roberts.

And the president, while doing his best to visit battleground states, needs foot soldiers in every city.

Among them, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, whose city hosted the Republican National Convention last week.

"When they see us referencing some of the good things, some of things President Obama has done, the mayor has done for infrastructure investments, they can translate to real progress," said Buckhorn.

And it is especially true with mayors who run urban areas. Numbers shows two-thirds of voters come from cities, so if you get them then you get more votes on your side.

Thousands of Democrats are waiting to hear what former President Bill Clinton says at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.

Estevez will be in Charlotte through Thursday night to cover the convention and the issues that matter most to central Florida.