Dems worried about empty seats at convention

by NW Spotlight

Clint Eastwood’s empty chair may not be the Democrats’ only empty chair problem. Enthusiasm is way down for President Obama since 2008, and Democrats are concerned that Hillary Clinton and Gov. Kitzhaber aren’t the only Democrats who have, ahem, “other commitments” during the Democratic National Convention that starts today.

The AP is reporting that Democrats have been fretting for months that President Obama won’t be able to draw a crowd big enough to fill this year’s 74,000-seat stadium.

Back in 2008, then-candidate Obama easily filled the 84,000-seat stadium in Denver. But that was back when he was easily attracting tens of thousands of people to his campaign rallies. The AP notes “This time around, Obama’s crowds are far smaller. He drew his biggest audience at his campaign kick-off rally in May, a 14,000-person crowd at Ohio State University.”

This year’s Democratic National Convention is being held in Charlotte, N.C., and starts today and concludes on Thursday.

There was controversy about the selection of Charlotte. The NY Times reported last month that the main cheerleader for securing Charlotte as the site of this year’s Democratic convention has been a supporter of President Obama’s and the Democrats’ energy initiatives. In return, his company has been paid back with $204 million in stimulus money and a $22 million grant to develop wind energy technologies.

UPDATE (9/5): Dems move Obama speech to smaller venue