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Republican National Convention

August 29, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
TAMPA, Fla. - A little more than a year ago, Frank VanderSloot contributed $1million to a "super PAC" supporting Mitt Romney. Now, the Idaho-based health products executive is a sought-after donor at the Republican National Convention as he makes the rounds of independent groups backing the GOP ticket. On Monday, VanderSloot and his wife met privately for an hour and a half with Karl Rove, the former top advisor to President George W. Bush and the strategist for the GOP heavyweight group American Crossroads.
August 29, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
TAMPA, Fla. - He is a ghostly presence at the Republican National Convention, He Who Shall Not Be Named. Former President George W. Bush has had no place of honor at his party's 2012 convention. In fact, other than a videotaped message delivered Wednesday night, neither he nor his father, former President George H.W. Bush, has had any place at all. If not for a scheduled, non-prime-time appearance Thursday by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the convention might have slipped by without any representation in person from the closest thing the country has to a Republican dynasty.
August 28, 2012 | Robin Abcarian and Maeve Reston
In 2008, after her husband withdrew from the grueling race for the GOP presidential nomination, Ann Romney made a personal campaign promise: "I am never going to do this again. " "You know what, Ann?" replied Mitt Romney, father of her five sons. "You said that after every pregnancy. " Telling that favorite family story to a jovial hometown crowd in Michigan last February, Ann delivered the punch line: "I guess I didn't really mean it. " When she takes the stage Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney's task will be to show the warmer side of a man who is often described as plastic and remote.
August 28, 2012 | By James Rainey, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
TAMPA, Fla. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who many Republicans had hoped would jump into the race for president, will instead give the first big political speech of the Republican National Convention, Tuesday night in prime time. New Jersey native Mike Memoli, a political writer in the Times' Washington Bureau, will join me, your Politics Now blog host Jim Rainey, in a Google+ Hangout discussion about what to expect from Christie. Keynote speeches like the one Christie will deliver can be important introductions for politicians who have ambitions on the national stage.
August 28, 2012 | Doyle McManus
TAMPA, Fla. - The conventional wisdom is that this week's Republican National Convention needs to make Mitt Romney more "likable" - to replace his image as a frosty billionaire with the warmer (and, friends say, more accurate) picture of a family man, devout Mormon and private do-gooder. And yes, the convention began on Tuesday with biographical tributes, testimonials to Mitt the mensch and an appealing speech from the candidate's appealing wife, Ann Romney, who said: "You can trust Mitt....
August 28, 2012 | By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times
TAMPA, Fla. - Did Ann Romney connect? That remains to be seen. The 20-minute speech that she delivered Tuesday night was ostensibly for the Republican National Convention - and the nation - but it was aimed directly at the hearts and minds of the female voters who have had trouble warming up to her husband. In a brilliant red Oscar de la Renta dress - belted at the waist, with elbow-length sleeves and a slightly belled skirt - Romney looked like a fabulous housewife. Which she proudly is. An unapologetic stay-at-home mom who raised five boys, she has never run from the role.
August 28, 2012 | By David Horsey
When a powerful tropical storm sweeps close enough to wipe out the first day of the Republican National Convention, is it a sign of divine intervention? A small, but significant, segment of Republican voters believe that extreme weather is more than a random interaction of atmospheric forces. When hurricanes or droughts or earthquakes inflict suffering on humanity, these folks take it as a sign of God's punishment. What then do we make of the storm that is sweeping by Tampa? Is the Almighty angered because the party that claims to speak for devout Americans is about to nominate a Mormon and a Roman Catholic as their candidates for president and vice president?
August 28, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
AMES, Iowa - President Obama campaigned under a scorching sun Tuesday to rally young voters on a college campus here, but kept an eye on the hurricane swirling toward the Gulf Coast, as did Republicans in Tampa, Fla., who were celebrating the nomination of Mitt Romney. The storm headed toward Louisiana was threatening New Orleans on the eve of the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, keeping the presidential campaigns on the alert for any political fallout. Before leaving on a two-day campus tour to the swing states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia, the president made an unscheduled statement at the White House, giving a brief update on his administration's preparations and a warning to residents in the path not "to tempt fate" or "dismiss official warnings.
August 28, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The Republicans finally found someone who is truly, madly, deeply excited about the prospect of a President Mitt Romney: his wife, Ann. It took awhile. For a convention devoted to the notion of Romney as the next president of the United States, his name did not come up a lot, at least not in the prime-time speeches Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. To be fair, Hurricane Isaac demanded a fair amount of attention, hitting landfall and Anderson Cooper's nifty slicker just as the speeches began, requiring distracting crawls about the height of surges and the number of folks left without electricity (honestly, CNN, was loss of power worth a crawl during a political convention?
August 28, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
TAMPA, Fla. -- Top GOP congressional candidates -- "our lead salesmen," as one campaign chief put it -- took to the stage at the Republican National Convention, delivering speeches, cheers and, in one case, a song. Republicans are seeking to retain their majority in the House and wrest away control of the Senate this November, and their showcase candidates helped launch the convention Tuesday. "We need a president who believes in America," said Mark Meadows, a businessman running for an open House seat in North Carolina.
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