Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

By Torey Van Oot and David Siders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiburon Democrat Elizabeth Moffet could barely believe the news when she learned last-minute change of venue for the final night of the Democratic National Convention means there will be no balloon drop after President Barack Obama accepts his party's nomination for re-election.

But after thinking about it for a minute, the three-time convention-goer said she didn't think the lack of balloons will affect the vibe in the hall tonight.

"There will be so much excitement after his speech," she said. "We'll survive. I'll be sad, but we'll be fine."

Convention officials announced earlier this week that the possibility of bad weather prompted them to move the site of the president's acceptance speech from the 74,000-seat open-air Bank of America Stadium to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena, where delegates have been stationed for the past two days of speeches. While it was too late to set up a traditional balloon drop, they plan to find another way to celebrate.

Moffet suggested "something with color" to cap the night. A delegate sitting nearby suggested lasers. She agreed that might work.

Another Californian said the energy of the speakers and the delegates will be enough to create "invisible balloons" in the arena.

"To me, the balloons are everywhere," said Teri Short, a delegate from Salinas.

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, for one, welcomed the news of no balloons.

"My last memory, and I've been frightened of balloons ever since, was at the Los Angeles convention - no, it was in Boston, 2004, when the balloons started to drop and suddenly they're past my chin, and I thought I was going to drown in balloons," he said.

"So, I think a lot of lives will be saved if we don't have the balloon drop."



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