2012 RNC Convention Officially Open

Full coverage at Fox News.

The opening of the Republican National Convention lasted but a few seconds Monday, as party chairman Reince Priebus gaveled in the ceremonies to a small roar of applause from the crowd of several dozen delegates. He then promptly declared the session in recess, ending the day’s festivities.

It was the closest the Republican Party has come yet to getting its convention underway, as Tropical Storm Isaac delays the affair and a number of officials steer clear of the convention to tend to their home states.

Priebus did use the occasion to showcase two “debt clocks,” one showing the total national debt and the other showing the debt since the start of the convention. That latter number instantly ran into the six-figure range after Priebus struck the gavel.

Weather permitting, bona-fide convention festivities will start Tuesday afternoon, with a full line-up of top-shelf speakers on the docket. But the fleeting kickoff Monday was just the latest sign of how the storm, as it heads toward the Gulf Coast roughly timed with the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, threatens to overshadow the party’s efforts to rally the base around Mitt Romney.

Four Gulf Coast governors — from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and the host state of Florida — already are steering clear of the convention to tend to emergency response in their states. The possibility of a Category 2 hurricane hitting the coast late Tuesday means that even as the convention makes its belated start that day, media coverage and public officials’ attention will remain fixed on the storm.

As of Monday, though, officials were pressing forward with their revised plans to gavel in Monday afternoon, then immediately go into recess, and then bring everything into gear by Tuesday afternoon.

The GOP convention speaker schedule and order of business HERE.


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