Highlights of the Republican National Convention . . . So Far

After a few hiccups due to Hurricane Isaac, the Republican National Convention has been moving forward in Tampa, also known as the strip-club capital of the United States. Unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney was officially nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, and the GOP lined up a number of Republican heavy-hitters to get the Party riled up for the next few months.

Chris Christie

Tuesday night, NJ governor Chris Christie was the keynote speaker. Unsurprisingly, the bellowing self-promoter talked about himself for 16 minutes before even mentioning Romney’s name. He said a few interesting things about how its better to be respected than loved, the nation must embrace the power of sacrifice, and Republicans have the right idea because they are not afraid to say no when no is the right answer. He decried a lack of leadership in the White House, advocating for politicians who lead rather than politicians who pander. Click here to read the full text of Christie’s speech.

Ann Romney

Ann Romney — who has previously never appeared before a crowd that size — made a strong pitch to women voters, with whom the Romney/Ryan ticket is not all that popular. She tried to show the “softer side” of Mitt; she used the word “love” 14 times, talked about their high-school romance, and shared the struggles the couple has overcome.

Mrs. Romney proclaimed there theirs was a real marriage, not a fairy tale marriage. As part of this speech she mentioned her multiple sclerosis, stating that the fairy tales she read did not have a chapter called MS (thank goodness that is true). Considering Mitt’s heel-turn on the issue of stem cell research, this was an especially curious public conversation. In fact, Ann once publicly expressed hope that embryonic stem cell research would hold a cure for her MS, but Mitt has become fervently opposed to embryo cloning and other techniques that allow such research to progress.

Mrs. Romney closed her speech by driving home the belief that, “you can trust Mitt.” In trying to help people understand the caring, personal side of her husband, she did not offer many specific examples or anecdotes, but instead explained that Mitt “doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.” She went on, “And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them. They do it because there is no greater joy.”

Ron Paul

The Convention barred half of Maine’s delegates for Ron Paul with an unusual set of challenges and, on Tuesday, those Paul delegates tried to reverse the decision on the convention floor. But they failed in spite of fierce support from some of the other delegates. Before Paul’s Maine supporters left, they loudly chanted, “We were robbed!”

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