GOP set to officially give Mitt Romney its nod
Republicans from across the country are converging on Tampa, Fla. for the 40th Republican National Convention, which will begin in earnest Tuesday after being delayed one day because of the threat posed by Isaac. The RNC, which is slated to run through Thursday, will feature 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.
The delegates will officially nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to challenge President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden in November's presidential election, with Romney slated to accept the nomination in a primetime speech on Thursday.
For Romney, the acceptance speech is a key chance to focus voters' attentions on the campaign's major message: that his administration would fix an economy that remains sluggish under President Obama, in part through government-trimming methods such as deregulation and simpler taxes.
It's an approach that could stick, says Duane Tananbaum, associate professor of history at Lehman College.
"The Democrats' [perceived] failure to bring about an economic recovery has confirmed for many people the belief that the federal government cannot solve the nation's problems and therefore its role in trying to do so should be limited," Tananbaum says.
Of course, Romney will also use the RNC to engage the American public personally, which has proved problematic for the candidate at times. Romney's wife Ann will address the delegates on Tuesday night and their children and grandchildren will be visible throughout.
"We're going to tell the Mitt Romney story," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN yesterday.
New York will be well represented at the convention, with the state sending 95 delgates, including ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani, former governor George Pataki and billionaire David Koch. The state's delegation is the third biggest, after Texas and California.
The city will have a big presence at the RNC in other ways as well, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan slated to offer a benediction on Thursday night. (With Reuters)