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This morning in the Tampa Bay Times



Adam Smith and Alex Leary:

Five of nine scheduled speakers are Hispanic, including Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, then Wednesday, Gov. Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico and Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico are on, and Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduces Mitt Romney.

The problem for Republicans is the diversity at the Tampa Bay Times Forum podium this week belies political reality.

Romney is far behind President Barack Obama among Hispanic voters, and his campaign so far has shown little interest in aggressively courting that vote. Party leaders fret that unless they reverse current trends, the long-term implications are dire as white voters represent a shrinking share of the electorate.

"If you're going backwards with a growing population, you're in trouble. I fear, long term, the Republican Party will end up being a regional party," said former state Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami.

Bob Buckhorn's in the spotlight and he loves it. The Tampa mayor got to sleep near midnight and was up at 4. Let the pitching begin.

Politico: The official message couldn't be clearer: The Republican National Convention will proceed this morning, period. More quietly, Republicans have begun to whisper a grim word that sums up all their fears about the 2012 party gathering: Katrina.

Karl Rove said stuff. Herman Cain said stuff. No minced words at GOP breakfasts. Bill Adair: Five GOP anti-Obama attack lines you'll hear.

The key moment Monday on the protest beat? John Barry with the help of FIFTEEN other reporters: At Kennedy Boulevard and Tampa Street, it looked as though both sides finally had enough. A dozen protesters sat down in the street. Riot police lined up. "About to get ugly, it appears," tweeted an Occupier. Then police Assistant Chief John Bennett knelt in the street next to the protesters. Calmly, he said, "The sidewalks are open." The protesters got up. And at that very moment, the heavens opened and a deluge drenched all of them. Protesters fled for cover. Riot police marched away. Marissa Lang: pint-sized protesters!

Tampa traffic. Charlie Crist's going to speak at the DNC in Charlotte. Slow news day.

Isaac was tame. At least here it was. What to do on the unplanned off day? Shopping! Pin the tail on the zebra! Do time in posh purgatory. Stephanie Hayes went to the Huffington Post's Oasis. And what about the unlucky hug hunter?

Sue Carlton:

On this day we could divide the world (or at least the city) into haves and have-nots. Luxurious boats docked on the pretty channel behind the Marriott Waterside don't even fake modesty. They are named things like My Reward, and, not making this up, Filthy Rich.

Times editorial: It's clear what Romney and his fellow Republicans are against. They are comparing this election to 1980, although portraying Obama as Jimmy Carter is a stretch and Romney lacks Ronald Reagan's personal warmth. They are attacking Obama as a failure on dealing with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression and renewing their pledge to repeal his signature legislative achievement, health care reform. That's the easy part. It's much fuzzier what the Republican candidate for president would actually do if he won. By the end of this week, those clouds should start to lift. Bob Graham: Prepare for another voting fiasco in Florida.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 8:38am]


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