Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Inside the Big Tent it's all about success

Inside the Big Tent Monday the theme was differing measures of success — the police and protesters see the demonstrations a little differently.

Protesters blame bad weather, police for poor turnout

The Times' report on Monday's surprisingly meager Coalition to March on the RNC:

About 5,000 demonstrators were expected.

But by midmorning, as Tampa felt some minor effects from Tropical Storm Isaac, the number of protesters out at Perry Harvey Sr. Park didn't reach 500. There were as many journalists as there were protesters.

"We all know the weather has affected the turnout of this march," said organizer Mick Kelly. "We have a turnout that's a little bit lower — okay, a lot lower — than we were expecting."

The city's conclusion: "The March on the RNC ended successfully."

The weather was crummy. Fine. It's good there wasn't some massive, violent fracas, but how committed are people to the cause if something less than a tropical storm scared so many of them away? In some sense it's kind of disappointing.

"They've militarized Tampa. The chilling effect has succeeded," Cara Jennings, a voter outreach organizer from Palm Beach County, told the AP.

On my walk in the afternoon from the Times' office in Tampa down to the convention center, I did see a large number of officers. I don't think that was the issue.

My favorite fact of the day ... so far

Those music students from Tampa's Gaither High who helped blow up those 120,000 red, white and blue balloons that'll drop from the ceiling of the Tampa Bay Times Forum come Thursday night? They made 50 bucks each, from the balloon company, and now they're giving that money to the school's chorus department.

Top 5 best quotes in Florida's best paper

1. "Money is what makes politics," said Akshay "A.K." Desai, one of Florida's top GOP fundraisers and finance chairman of the state Republican Party. "We have to raise dollars to get our voice out to the public, and, essentially, you get the message out by having the finances to be able to have advertisements on TV."

2. Charlie Crist: "I haven't changed. The Republican Party has changed."

3. "The real significant debate that is going on today is not between the Democrats and the Republicans," said Craig Westover, 62, a Ron Paul delegate to the RNC from Minnesota. "It is about the debate going on within the Republican Party."

4. Donald Trump: "I hope that they're tough as hell and mean as hell and fight fire with fire."

5. "Stay informed of the facts," said Herman Cain. "Because stupid people are ruining America."

Dumbest word people think sounds smart


How to warm up a cool medium

Slate's John Dickerson on the furniture at the Times Forum:

"Everything on the stage has had the same applied black-walnut wood surface poured over it — the lectern, the stairs, and the desk, which looks like it needs a receptionist to welcome you for your weekend at the mountain lodge."

Inside the Big Tent it's all about success 08/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 7:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Editorial: UF can set example for free speech


    White nationalist Richard Spencer is bringing his racist message Thursday to the University of Florida in a legitimate, if utterly repugnant, display of the First Amendment at work. As a public university, UF has little choice but to allow Spencer's speech to take place. Now the university and the broader community has …

    By responding with peaceful protests and refusing to be provoked into violence, UF and the Gainesville community can provide a powerful repudiation of Richard Spencer’s hateful message.
  3. Percussionist rocks out with a blazing triangle solo during Florida Orchestra performance (w/video)


    Oh, the poor triangle. It's the orchestra equivalent of a rock band's tamborine, and such easy fodder for jokes.

    John Shaw performs a triangle solo.
  4. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza


    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  5. Andy Serkis' directing debut 'Breathe' is not so inspiring


    After such a revolutionary acting career, Andy Serkis should be expected to make an equally inventive directing debut. Breathe is anything but that.

    Clare Foy and Andrew Garfield star in Breathe as Robin and Diana Cavendish, an English polio victim and his devoted wife, who pioneered disability rights and wheelchairs with ventilators. [Imaginarium]