President Obama tried to soothe disappointed supporters on Thursday who had hoped to attend the final night of the convention but who lost their seats when the location was moved to a smaller venue at the last minute due to weather concerns. “We can’t let a little thunder and lightning [get] us down,” he told them on a conference call. “We’re just going to have to roll with it.”
On Wednesday morning, convention organizers announced that the final night of the convention would take place in the Time Warner Cable Arena, the venue for the first two nights of the convention, rather than the much larger Bank of America Stadium.
On a conference call Thursday, Obama told supporters — many of whom volunteered for the campaign in order to earn tickets — that he is proud of their work and hopes they will continue to stay involved in what will be a close election. Obama said that North Carolina is “exhibit A” of the important grassroots campaign work taking place.
There’s “plenty of enthusiasm out there. The issue in this election is not going to be enthusiasm,” Obama said. Republicans have been claiming the venue change was a sign Democrats were worried about filling the stadium and that concerns about the weather were just a cover.
Obama also said the convention so far has been “unbelievable.” He praised Michelle Obama’s speech on Tuesday and said former President Clinton “broke down the issues as effectively as anyone could” Wednesday night.
“I cant wait to share my vision for the future tonight,” Obama said.
“Most importantly,” Obama said, “I just want you to know that this campaign’s always been about you and what you guys can accomplish when you work together.”
For those who volunteered their time in order to earn seats — a program the campaign promoted as the 9-3-1 Pledge (volunteers committed to nine hours of time in three shifts in order to earn one ticket) — Obama said his staff would be in touch so that supporters could attend his events in their districts over the next two months.
Democrats have been saying for months that their grassroots, get-out-the-vote efforts are what will ultimately make the difference in November.
Campaign manager Jim Messina echoed Obama’s praise on the call. “You guys really are the most amazing grassroots organization I’ve ever seen,” he said. “We’ll see you on the campaign trail.”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.