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Demoralized Republicans descend on a convention city threatened by actual and political storms

By DOUG THOMPSON - Capitol Hill Blue
August 27, 2012

A small band of protestors march in St. Petersburg on the eve of the GOP convention across the bay in Tampa.
AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Election battle-weary Republicans descended on Tampa, Florida, over the weekend, bringing with them a tsunami of emotions from a primary race that left many exhausted and few satisfied with the final choice.

To make matters worse, Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on Florida’s Gulf Coast and convention organizers scrapped much of the opening hoopla and pushed the schedule to later in the week, compressing four days into three and hoping the weather doesn’t upstage the big show.

For some, the threat of bad weather is an omen for a party battered by controversy, hobbled with a candidate who is — at best — a compromise and riddled with division, derision and defiance.

“Maybe it’s fitting that we hit town during a hurricane,” Missouri delegate Sharon Atkinson told Capitol Hill Blue in an email.

While political parties try to use conventions to showcase unity, the GOP confab in Tampa is anything but unified and the mood is nowhere near agreement or joy.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul‘s rabid supporters want revenge for a system that they say was rigged to deny their candidate a nomination they feel he deserves.  The Tea Party, assuaged somewhere by Mitt Romney‘s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, still feel out of the loop and will use Sarah Palin‘s offsite gathering to voice their frustrations.

And some of the Paul faithful want payback of some kind against Rand Paul, the son who they feel abandoned his father and bought a speaking role at the convention with a traitorous endorsement of Romney.

“Rand is gonna get his,” says Andy Walters, a convention attendee from Texas who sported a Ron Paul t-shirt and spat on the ground when Rand’s name was mentioned. “He’s a traitor to the movement, a Judas to his father and a lying son-of-a-bitch.”

At a time when Republicans should be celebrating the selection of a nominee and running mate, the convention attendees show little enthusiasm for the ticket they will anoint to try and unseat incumbent President Barack Obama.

Even the protestors who came to all political conventions find their crowds down and enthusiasm dampened by the approach of a tropical storm.  Only about 30 showed up from Occupy Wall Street for a Sunday march.  To make matters worse, police are keeping protestors across Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg — far away from the convention hall.

Romney comes to Tampa with the votes he needs to secure the nomination but still does not have the enthusiasm normally accorded a nominee.

“He’s not my first choice or even my second one,” says Loretta Connors, a Republican from Colorado.  “I guess he will have do do.”

Some wonder if Romney can generate any real enthusiasm among the GOP base.

Political pros tell Capitol Hill Blue that Romney will need to give the speech of his life to come out of the convention with any hope of momentum and few think he is up to the task.

“He just doesn’t light a fire under the base,” says one GOP strategist who asked not to be identified.  “He’s pabulum, floating in a sea of political mediocrity.”

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12 Responses to Demoralized Republicans descend on a convention city threatened by actual and political storms

  1. Sandy Price

    August 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Good article Chief. Romney has not shared his plans to get America back on track simply because he doen’t have it approved by his church. Americans don’t understand the power of the LDS. When one is baptized meaning a member of the church, they take an oath to work for the church.They give themselves to the church.

    The platform from the church is what drives the new member into following every part of the oath. Sure Mormons are loving and giving Americans but the church demands the new member make changes to their own participation including those who work with or for them.

    It is possible that Americans want a structure as strict as this included in the US Constitution. Paul Ryan took the initial step in defining the GOP under the leadership of Mitt Romney. This may be what the American voters really want.

    What can we do to promote a sense of equality that has been missing in the GOP since 2000. I saw this when Bush 43 claimed to be a born again and it got him elected but what else did it bring? You know I’ve been a dedicated Republican but I cannot follow the hogwash that comes with the party at this time. Obama could be stronger but at least he defines equality.

  2. Wayne K Dolik

    August 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Sandy I too am a republican. But, I can not support the republican party in it’s present form. Way to much fraud and manipulation by the RNC to ever cast my vote for THEIR annoined one. Paul should have had his 5 + states and there would have been a healthy debate in the GOP. Instead republican’s have a fool for a party.

  3. Sandy Price

    August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I watched a few minutes of Ron Paul’s convention on CSPAN but had to cut it short due to a 49er football game that started. They beat the Broncos so my Sunday was not completely ruined. I’m watching some of the speakers in Tampa but nothing to convince me to vote for Romney.

    My association with the LDS faith convinces me to never put any member in office anywhere. My grandfather left the church just after WW2 and was so horrified at what they were pushing that he refused to talk about it. He was crushed when I walked out of my baptism but never again mentioned it. He retired when I was handed over to him when my mother went on tour and I grew to adore him and we became inseparable. He took raising me very seriously and insisted that I be sent to an all girl’s boarding school. I grew to love my school and he knew I needed the strict rules.

    What do we do for a political party? You are right and a smart debate between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney would have been perfect for the Party. I just received a letter from “United for Separation of Church and State” and I will follow what they suggest.

    There are a lot of us Wayne and someday maybe a new GOP will stand up against the mess we have now. .

  4. Jim B.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    If this were the Democratic National Convention in Tampa at this time, I could see good-ol’ Pat Robertson stating that God disapproves of the Democratic Party’s platform and is sending a hurricane its way to show His wrath.

    Maybe the Democrats are more into science than they are into divine retribution, so they’re not commenting on this issue.

    One thing for sure, there’ll be a lot more wind inside the convention hall over the next few days than outside it.

  5. Sandy Price

    August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Jim, I’ve been trying to follow some of the speakers but the audience is so loud that nobody can be heard. I doubt I’m missing anything but it would be nice if MSNBC would allow their hosts to be outside of the screaming mobs. Chris Matthews was wonderful earlier in the convention when he took on the current head of the NRC.

    You are right about Pat Robertson who will do a sermon on Sunday about why God sent Isaac to side track the convention, just to prove he is watching.

    I’ve attended several conventions but I’ve never seen so many people who stand there screaming. What’s the purpose? If MSNBC has anything to say about tomorrow they should guarantee that the conference should be inside away from the freaks. I remember when these things were done seriously.

  6. blutodog

    August 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    W. RMONEY has one thing going for him and it has nothing to do with Paul Ryan , it’s B. Obama who hasn’t really done much to earn another term. B. Obama has only one thing going for hi, W. RMONEY who hasn’t really made a case why he should replace him.

  7. Sandy Price

    August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I’m done in! I just learned that Rick Scott (Florida Governor) is going to cut early voting in 4 areas of his state to guarantee a win for Romney. I honestly do not want to live in a nation that can be bought as Romney is clearly doing. I would understand a win by a Republican if they could do it legally and ethically.

    It might just be that Obama was unable to get through the Republican Congress but anyone who follows this mess must understand that it could be fixed if the congress lost a few members. That takes money, time and effort that the American voters do not wish to do.

    Apparently the American voters are more in step with the residents of Arizona. So far only one man in Southern Florida wants to deny Scotts instructions and he has been told he will lose his job. This is the kind of campaign that Romney is running. I can only hope the Democrats know how to stop this illegal dealing with the voters. It is amazing that all of the trouble makers and liars are all Christians. I’ve known that they play dirty when money or power is part of the deal.

    Romney is up to his butt in Paul Ryans check list for Americans. He pretends he will overrule Ryan’s plans but he has accepted all of it. The GOP will have to play this down and I wonder if they will. I’ve been a part of their conventions since the 1950’s and apparently the way we ran them is now considered old fashioned. When there was a separation of church and state, their hands were tied but now they can do whatever they want. According to the last numbers, Romney is leading in Florida.

    I’ll go back to Ron Paul and not give a damn who wins this election.

    • Jim B.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      RE: what you wrote: “I just learned that Rick Scott (Florida Governor) is going to cut early voting in 4 areas of his state to guarantee a win for Romney.”

      That does me in, too….I hate dirty tricks…Keeps reminding me of Tricky Dick Nixon…This whole business of voter ID to prevent voter fraud is another farce and is being used to disenfranchise poor voters. The frequency of voter fraud is so tiny, it is insignificant.

      Even the Doonesbury comic has tried to educate the public about this flim-flam:

      http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2012/7/25
      http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2012/7/26

  8. woody188

    August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

    It occurs to me that it is hard to receive redress for your grievances from across a bay…

  9. CA Leeson

    August 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Doug, any thoughts on paper concerning Texas, GOP and Maine delegayes?

  10. CA Leeson

    August 28, 2012 at 9:53 am

    delegates

  11. Tom

    August 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I can’t wait for this country to become a theocracy. I was in a UMC meeting last week when one of the members stated that the “separation of church and state” did not mean what it means. He said we need to ignore that part of the constitution. I was dumbfounded so therefore bring it on fast. These people do not realize that we will become just like a Middle Eastern country with Pat, Billy, or Jimmy in charge. Do as I say not as I do.