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The Republican National Convention, circa 2012

Updated on August 26, 2012

In a few days, Republicans will head to Tampa, Florida, to begin the Republican National Convention. They will be joined in Florida by about 50,000 delegates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, as well as a few uninvited guests, such as Vice President Joe Biden, and, possibly, Hurricane Issac. National Republicans, Florida Republicans, Mitt Romney's campaign, closely interested Republican voters and closely interested Democratic leaders and voters, will all be crossing their fingers this week, for different reasons.

There is a sense of destiny in the air, for those who follow politics. It is convention time, you see, and Mitt Romney will finally get the chance to shape his political destiny. Many Republican leaders and figures will speak at the convention, culminating in Mitt's speech to the delegates. The Romney campaign has had a tough summer, with only one bright spot in the Paul Ryan choice as V.P nominee. Romney has not only allowed Obama and the Democrats to define him as a candidate, but he has also given them the tools to do it.

Romney had to mention that he only paid thirteen percent in taxes, after getting in a scuffle with Harry Ried, who theorized that Romney pays no taxes at all. Thirteen is better than Zero, but, then again, Romney does himself no good when he talks about his money. All he has done this summer is refuse to release his tax returns, and instead of going away, as Romney might have hoped, the whole thing snowballed into a political issue worthy of the Obama campaigns notice.

Romney did choose Paul Ryan as his running mate, which undoubtedly had the desired effect. Romney has indeed energized his base, and has made people who were always going to vote for him even more likely to vote for him. Meanwhile, the Independents, who were always going to decide the race, have been more critical in their appraisal of Ryan. His Medicare plan is opposed by a majority of voters, and even though the plan is more realistic than it may at first seem, try telling that to most of the above mentioned voters. In choosing Ryan, Romney chose to bring the budget debate to the center of his campaign. It was just unfortunate that Obama was always itching to have that debate.

So Romney, after a summer of being defined as a rich, elitist, upper class snob, who, with his similarly afflicted wife intends to become President in order to lower his own taxes (for that sums up Obama's attack strategy) really needs an opportunity to be himself, and to lay out his agenda. The Republican National Convention will give him just that opportunity. As in all things, only Romney can possibly do himself any real damage. Looking at Romney's track record so far, one feels the need to run after the man, shouting, "Mitt, be careful!"

But there are some things beyond even the Republican Party's control, and the first has to do with politics. If there was ever a time when political parties could convene in peace, those times are long gone. Joe Biden himself will be campaigning in Florida this very week, for the obvious reason of diverting attention away from Mitt Romney. I list this one as the first obstacle, because, knowing Joe Biden, it is quite possible that any attention he attracts to himself will be unhelpful to President Obama.

The second obstacle is even more problematic. This one has to do with nature, and nothing less than a hurricane is churning towards the Gulf Coast. At one time, it seemed more of a nuisance to the Republicans, and one that was amusing to Democrats. Now, the Hurricane is gaining strength, and is heading towards New Orleans. It is becoming more than a minor political blip, and any devastation it could possibly cause will do the Republicans no good, because attention will have been diverted. At the least, it will do what most hurricanes do, and that is enough to get the name of the storm on headlines. At worst, we may have a very serious problem ahead, and that will distract from the November elections anyway.

Romney and the Republicans have a chance to define themselves at this convention, and, judging from their platform, they are not off to a very good start. The Republican Party platform has some controversial planks this year, and Romney will want to distance himself from some of them. But the bigger problems now are these; Romney's tax returns, Ryan's budget cuts to Medicare, Joe Biden, and a Hurricane. Let the Conventions begin...



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    • Nathan Orf profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      Sassysue,

      I see two problems with those polls you mention. The first one is that they are the latest polls, and with nearly two months to go before election day, it is still a bit early to be feeling confident about any polls at all.

      The second problem is that you list Rasmussen as a reliable poll. That poll has a proven conservative bias. I have no problem with Gallup, though.

      I will check out these polls as soon as I can. Perhaps you could help me by providing links to them.

      And I said why I think things are going badly for the GOP throughout this article. It is a fact that Romney looks like a shady figure when he refuses to release his tax returns. People do oppose Paul Ryan and his budget in majorities.

      The Democrats will do whatever they can to distract from the GOP convention, and the Republicans will do the same. In politics, that is inevitable.

      That is why I think things are going badly for the Republicans.

    • Nathan Orf profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      lone77star,

      I'm pleased to hear that you get your news from sources other than the media we have in the states. I am thinking of getting my news that way myself.

      Yup, neither major candidate in this race has much to go on, other than lies and half-truths. It is really a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. For me, Obama is the lesser evil. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      SassySue1963 

      5 years ago

      I don't know why you think things are going badly for the GOP. Three more states just moved from "likely Obama" to toss-ups because he no longer holds a lead larger than the error margin. Ohio just came out in the latest poll as a tie. And Rasmussen and Gallup both show Romney leading the majority vote. At the rate he's dropping, he's liable to lose PA.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I can't say I have much respect for the RNC and GOP elite. The way they conducted the primary season was nothing short of fraudulent. I don't live in the states, so it's harder for me to watch the Corporate Party media. So, I get my news through alternative sources. One in particular has been YouTube and the local Ohio station, WXIX, and Ben Swann's "Reality Check." It's a real eye opener concerning breaking rules, ballot stuffing, changing votes, ignoring votes and outright cheating on the part of the GOP elite and the Romney campaign.

      Here's the latest,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT2F3aT2xLU

      But when the GOP elite have chairpersons assaulted (causing physical harm requiring a trip to the hospital) and arrested (on false pretenses -- see St. Charles, MO), then you have a group that deserves little respect. They'll get respect from the Ron Paul campaign, but they'll also get sued.

      I used to think that elections in America were above board. Boy was I naive.

      At least the Corporate Party media noticed that Romney is a major flip-flopper on issues. Is that a good thing? Obama flip-flopped on a lot of issues as soon as he was in the White House.

      But on every major issue critical to America's future, Obama and Romney are virtually the same:

      * War and military -- both warmongers with perhaps Mittens only a touch more so.

      * Fiscal insanity -- with Romney's plans to enlarge the military (and we're already larger than the next 10 nations combined, militarily), America's debt bubble might just burst on his watch, if he's elected.

      * Trashing the constitution -- Romney said he would've signed the NDAA with its indefinite detention clauses for American citizens. He's no friend of the American citizen, betraying his oath of office even before he takes it.

    • Nathan Orf profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      ib radmasters,

      Thank you for that. I was not aware of this change in policy until you mentioned it. I also heard that the convention was delayed for a few days. Guess I'll have to change something here...

    • Nathan Orf profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      lrc7815,

      Thank you very much for the praise. Same here, where I live in a fairly conservative area. I am hoping that all those Romney 2012 bumper stickers become obsolete after November.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      Vice President Joe Biden postponed his upcoming campaign stops in Florida based on the "statewide state of emergency declared in Florida" due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, the campaign announced today.

      The campaign said the decision was made based on the "statewide state of emergency declared in Florida."

      "This change in schedule is being taken to ensure that all law enforcement and emergency management resources across the state can continue their focus on ensuring the safety of those who might be impacted by the storm," the campaign said in a statement.

      Biden was slated to bracket the GOP convention with events in Tampa on Monday and Orlando and St. Augustine on Tuesday. He also was scheduled to campaign alongside Eva Longoria, a national co-chair of President Obama's campaign, at the Orlando stop Tuesday.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Excellent!!!! Voted up! You should replace mainstream media. Clear, concise, and to the point. Really enjoyed this hub and will be watching the events unfold from here in the Bible belt where Romney seems to be sitting just slightly beneath God and Jerry Falwell.

    • Nathan Orf profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      forbcrin,

      I suspect the same. Romney usually only has himself to blame, and public speaking is not his thing. Lets keep our fingers crossed; Romney might just prove us right!

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Republicans should be happy Biden will be in Florida. They may be lucky, and he may say something to out do Mitt...

      However I am confident that Mitt will have the last word, and that is always a hope for hearing another stupidity delivered by him.

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