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This morning in the Tampa Bay Times



Alex Leary, Adam Smith and Steve Bousquet on Paul Ryan's Wednesday night speech:

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was greeted with deafening applause and hailed as the face of a new GOP on Wednesday night as he tore into President Barack Obama's policies, casting him as a failure on the economy who is unwilling to make dramatic change.

"Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems," Ryan vowed, claiming the spotlight at the Republican National Convention two weeks after Mitt Romney named him as his running mate.

Tonight it's Mitt's turn. Here are five things he needs to say. Dan Ruth: It's the effort to rebrand Mitt Romney as something other than a dispassionate Mr. Spock-esque hologram into a fuzzy-wuzzy Mr. Rogers of the right. He's stiff? It's not like this is the first time we've seen stiff. Dear Mitt: Take a risk already. Fill in the blanks. The Utah delegates don't need much convincing. Rubio's speaking too.

Pam Bondi and that guy from Georgia? THAT was awkward. Protests? Could have been worse. This is why it wasn't. Cafe HeyTraffic? Could have been worse. For actual downtown resident, though, "almost post-apocalyptic." Sex traffickers targetedThe buses, meanwhile, were about as bad as some expected they might be. Want to see a $70,000 necklace?

Sue Carlton in her cityThere is contradiction, too, in the promise of 50,000 visitors landing here when in reality, much of downtown Tampa could not be deader if there were tumbleweeds blowing through. Blame bad weather, traffic or the fact that the steady downtown lunch crowd fled for the week. Blame catered events and RNCers crowding restaurants and bars at their hotels rather than venturing out.

Tia Mitchell spent the day with Ann Romney.

Pete Jamison on Agenda 21:

In a nation fond of its conspiracy theories, the belief that an international cabal is plotting to take over the United States by building bicycle paths manages to stand out. That's the fear of dedicated activists who assert that proponents of green development projects are secretly colluding with the United Nations to create a tyrannical worldwide government, using as their blueprint a 1992 U.N. environmental accord called Agenda 21. As outlandish as it might sound, the theory has led some groups to openly denounce Agenda 21 as a threat to American freedoms. Among those groups: the Republican Party.

Watching a political convention on television is like watching the Super Bowl, says Tom Jones. Except for all the lies, of course. Selling Tampa Bay hard.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:59am]


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