The Republican message: Workers were putting up a sign Sunday inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the 2012 Republican National Convention is set to begin.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Greetings from Tampa, where that old phrase "the calm before the storm" has never been more appropriate.
Tropical storm Isaac is now looking like it will make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east to the Florida Panhandle. And when it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is warning, Isaac could be a Category 2 hurricane.
In Tampa, Fla., Republicans are closely watching the weather. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to pass by Tampa Monday, bringing heavy rain and wind. Monday also marks the day the GOP convention was to supposed to start, but organizers decided it was safer to cancel the first day of events. Guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with NPR's Jeff Brady about the preparations.
Among the Republicans heading for Tampa this week - weather permitting, of course - is Chuck Grassley, the senior senator from Iowa. He's held that office since 1981. We spoke with him Friday, before event organizers delayed the kickoff for the Republican National Convention, and asked him how he thinks Republicans are feeling about the election.
We're joined now by Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR. Hi, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: We just heard Senator Grassley, the Republican from Iowa, say he reluctantly attend his party's political convention because he has a sense of obligation, which raises the question: what is the point of these conventions anyway? Do you think people still pay attention to them?