GOP Convention Opens, Reveals Debt Clock, And Adjourns

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

(CBS News) TAMPA, Fla. - With several bangs of the gavel, the Republican National Convention kicked off without much fanfare as the first day's session officially lasted less than 60 seconds after the agenda was scrapped because of Hurricane Isaac.

At precisely 2 p.m. ET, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called the convention to order and immediately announced that the convention "stands in recess subject to the call of the chair."

Priebus also unveiled two debt clocks that hung from the arena walls. One showed the current amount of the national debt and the second will count the amount of debt accumulated during the convention. The ticker clocked in at $13 million in the first ten minutes.

Convention organizers canceled Monday's schedule due to Hurricane Isaac, which is making its way westward through the Gulf of Mexico. Although the storm blew by Tampa Sunday night and did no damage, the action was a precaution to protect the safety of delegates traveling to the region, ease up Tampa's resources in case of an emergency and ensure images of Republicans partying during a storm are not blasted across the media.

Speakers slated to speak Monday have either been rescheduled to address the convention in the remaining three days or have given up their time slots. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Lousiana Govenor Bobby Jindal will not be attending the convention, instead they're staying home to deal with Isaac.

During the short session Monday, the Tampa arena holding the Republican event was mostly empty with media outnumbering the few hundred delegates who bothered to attend, mostly to pick up souvenirs and see the convention floor.

While the first days proceedings have been canceled, events outside the convention continue, including various political forums and parties.


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