This morning in the Tampa Bay Times
He comforted dying children. He saved struggling businesses. He stood by his wife as she suffered from multiple sclerosis.
Willard Mitt Romney, 65, used the climactic moment of the Republican National Convention Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to present a fuller self-portrait while trying to harness disappointment with President Barack Obama.
It has been 5½ years since Romney officially began running for president, but in many respects, it was the first time he introduced himself to Americans, giving a well-received speech after a three-day convention designed to rally the Republican base.
Adam Smith: What's striking at the end of a Republican National Convention that devoted so much time stressing the GOP's willingness to make tough, bold decisions and to lead instead of pander, is how cautious it all seemed.
Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night and offered one concrete reason that he should be elected: He's not President Barack Obama. The former Massachusetts governor played on fears about the weak economy, characterized Obama as a failure who cannot lead the nation to prosperity and argued he has the business experience to create millions of jobs. It was a credible performance that ended a perfunctory Republican National Convention, but Romney's broad promises remain vague and unconvincing.
Marc Caputo on Marco Rubio: Marco Rubio introduced the leader of his party to the nation Thursday night, but judging by the roar of the crowd, some initially wished it was the other way around at the Republican National Convention. And Steve Bousquet on what Jeb Bush said. Chris Christie gave a great speech on Thursday. But it didn't happen on TV so it's like it didn't happen at all. Tampa's TV time? Shoulder shrug. This is expensive for cities, and for delegates, too.
John Romano: For those of you who live and work outside of downtown Tampa, the RNC was probably no more than a blip. It didn't attract many celebrities, it didn't produce must-see public events and, unless you own a hotel, it probably didn't put money in your pocket.
Dan Ruth: Obama's never worked in the private sector, they say -- unlike Paul Ryan, Pam Bondi, Marco Rubio ... ?
Jodie Tillman: A truck, omnipresent in downtown Tampa during the convention, featuring photographs of fetuses circled the rally a couple of times.
At the Republican convention four years ago in St. Paul, Minn., 800 were arrested. Eight years ago in New York, 1,800. But Thursday, Hillsborough Col. Jim Previtera could rattle off his booking list in one breath:
The guy with the machete. And the kid with the bandana.
Here was the protesters' moment of disruption.
"If we were in New York, there were plenty of moments we would have all been arrested," Brendon Hunt, 28, of Occupy Wall Street said Thursday. "I really like Tampa. I'd like to come back sometime." Click.
"Sometimes there are so many messages happening, it's kind of hard to say what the message is. I prefer smaller direct actions." Click.
Stephanie Hayes on Meghan McCain: She's a 27-year-old Republican who loves guns, small government and God. She also loves gays and beer and fun and thinks there's room for everyone in the GOP. Stephanie also went to the Google party!