Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention Day 2: '$#&! you, tyrants,' elephants 'build' a catchphrase, and Ann loves Mittens

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

James Richardson is an Atlanta-based Republican operative and editor of Each day this week he'll be reporting on the highs and lows of the Republican National Convention from Tampa. All photos are by CL photo editor Joeff Davis. The Day 2 gallery is at the bottom of this post. Joeff's weeklong photo gallery wrap-up will run Friday.

Procedural votes that in past conventions drew snores instead triggered a minor revolt Wednesday as Republicans moved to stifle insurgent dissent to the formal nomination of Mitt Romney.

A vote to unseat rogue delegates and later the roll call of nomination electors, wherein the Bay Stater officially clinched his party's nod, were interrupted by irate supporters of felled White House hopeful Ron Paul.

Loud cries of "boo" and "seat them now" were interspersed with more colorful invectives like "fuck you, tyrants" as convention organizers adopted new rules tweaking the calendar and delegate selection mechanism for future presidential contests. The rowdy Paul crew left in protest before the night's speeches began, shouting to remaining conventioneers that the event was a "coronation, not a convention."

WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT: Republicans devoted the day to hammering President Barack Obama's "you didn't build that" speech, elevating a number of small business owners to the dais as a rejoinder to the gaffe. Governor Chris Christie was the first Republican convention keynoter in eight years — no one was tapped in the 2008 confab — but the reliably charismatic New Jersey pol was eclipsed by a warm and sentimental Ann Romney. Both carried the "we built it" banner, but Mrs. Romney was uniquely tasked by campaign hands with softening the stiff perception of her husband among women voters. Her revealing speech, in which she reflected on her marriage and health bouts with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer, was called "the single most effective political speech ... by a political wife" by television commentators. Even as Christie bookended the night, it was Mrs. Romney's earlier address that had delegates buzzing: handfuls were heard asking "wasn't she great" as they left the floor.

GEORGIA REPORT: Georgia Republican chief Sue Everhart spent a maddening day wrangling her delegation to unanimously offer the 76-member slate to confirm Romney's nomination. Her plan fizzled after four insurgent electors, previously pledged to former contenders Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, revealed allegiances to Ron Paul. Despite two day's worth of lobbying, Everhart was unable to pledge the entire slate in the Wednesday roll call vote.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TONIGHT: Sam Olens, Georgia's top lawman, will ascend to the podium tonight just after 8 p.m. for a joint address with his lateral from Florida, Pam Bondi. Both attorney generals were early supporters of Romney's campaign and played central roles in the legal challenge to health care reform. Though monumental for Olens, whose political star has rocketed into the Republican stratosphere in the last twelve months, the speech will be a brief affair, too early in the lineup to be be covered by the networks. Most attention will be paid to Condoleeza Rice, newly of the Augusta National Golf Club, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who will formally accept his party's nomination for vice president.

Republican National Convention Day 2 photo gallery

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