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This morning in the Tampa Bay Times



The Times' Aaron Sharockman:

One week this June, Florida political interests raked in $12.8 million.

Enough money to eliminate the $1.25 toll on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge for nine months. Or to pay the salaries of 284 Florida public schoolteachers. Or to cover four-fifths of the Tampa Bay Rays' starting rotation.

In one week.

The big Sunday night kickoff party: The Trop attendees included men in red, white and-blue cowboy boots and women with blue-dyed hair mingling with bead-tossing Gasparilla krewes, who had a little trouble explaining Gasparilla to the out-of-towners. John Romano: A fine party, but we could've used more Tampa Bay. Ernest Hooper: After the convention, or ATC, we need to devote as much energy into making Tampa Bay great for its residents as we have into making it great for visitors.

Mitt Romney: "I am who I am." Click.

"Welcome to TheTeaParty.Net Unity Rally!" Click.

"Four more years of Obama," she said while wiping her eyes, "we won't have a country left." Click.

Charlie Crist: "What's happened in today's Republican leadership is the words 'compromise' and 'cooperation' aren't welcome anymore. If you're that rigid and that doctrinaire, you can't get anything done." "He's dead to me," said A.J. Matthews, a Republican delegate from Tampa. Click.

Sean Daly with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Inside each bag are water bottles and tchotchkes adorned with Mitt Romney's face, the word "Wrong" and related nay-saying. Outside this just-say-boo enclave on Tampa Street is parked a moving billboard with the same message: "Romney Economics — Wrong for the Middle Class."

The Daily Show. Strip clubs. Sunday fun day for the delegates. Protests? Tampa. St. Pete. Adam Smith: Conventions matter. Pete Jamison on "the oddly inscrutable" Isaac. What's the right tone now? Trump in Sarasota.

Times editorial: ... Republicans can use the down time. They need to regroup and refocus on a more inclusive, pragmatic argument that voters should send someone new to the White House. Dan Ruth: Ron Paul and the perpetually annoyed.

[Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 8:21am]


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