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The Calm Before the Storm

It is an eerily quiet morning in Downtown Tampa, and residents say more so than a usual Sunday. Not only is the Republican National Convention hours away from the gavel, but the effects of Tropical Storm Isaachave also begun. Winds have picked up and there is some drizzle.

The 350,000 residents apparently have heeded the warnings to stay in. Freeways are quiet and the main streets have had sparse traffic. Some 300 people gathered for a protest more than a mile away from the Forum. Chanting "we are the 99 percent" and deriding Republican nominee Mitt Romney, they drew more police officers and news crews than paasersby. (Read More; GOP Delays Convention Business Due to Isaac)

Streets have been cordoned off and several of the draw bridges leading into Downtown have been kept in the up position and monitored by Florida National Guard.

Hotel lobbies have The Weather Channel on the TV screen with seemingly more of an audience than the news channels. Within hours, heavy downpours are expected. Hotels will be filled with delegates, politicians, and journalists. And booze. Lots of it. There will be sordid stories. And day one has yet to begin.

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