BACK HOME: The Romney campaign organized 20 watch parties for Paul Ryan's speech, including a special event at the Holiday Inn in his hometown, Janesville. Wisconsin has great seats in the hall, and Mitt Romney's campaign is going to great lengths to emphasize Ryan's ties to the state.
WHAT EVERYONE AT THE CONVENTION CENTER waS TALKING ABOUT: Yahoo News fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught on a hot mic during an online video broadcast saying that Mitt and Ann Romney had no problem with African-Americans suffering as a result of Hurricane Isaac, POLITICO's Dylan Byers reports. "They're not concerned at all. They're happy to have a party with black people drowning," Chalian said over a break during the ABC News/Yahoo News webcast, in reference to the fact that the GOP convention in Tampa was taking place as Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the north Gulf Coast.
THE APOLOGY: "I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke," Chalian wrote on his Facebook page later in the day. "I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics. I have apologized to the Romney campaign, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Gov. and Mrs. Romney. I also regret causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo News and ABC News."
GETTING INTO CHARACTER: "Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, ran into each other on a CNN set at the convention Wednesday," the Associated Press' Nancy Benac reports. "Van Hollen greeted Portman as 'Mr. President.' Van Hollen is playing the role of Rep. Paul Ryan for the Democrats as Vice President Joe Biden prepares for the vice presidential debate. Portman is playing President Barack Obama for the Republicans as Mitt Romney prepares for the presidential debates."
ENGAGED: "RNC production manager Bradley Thomson, 32, proposed to Laura Bowman, 27, on the convention stage Wednesday morning," said the AP. "Thomson led Bowman on stage, where the screens were filled with pictures of the couple and their dog. Thomson got down on one knee, and Bowman immediately accepted. She later said that the engagement was a surprise, (but) she knew something was up. 'I thought there was something fishy when he said that there was a sound problem because there never is,' Bowman said."
WHAT'S NEXT FOR TPAW? Tim Pawlenty ate made-to-order sautéed veggies and rice from the sauté station at the Westin Harbour Island, which was set up for Romney campaign bundlers. POLITICO's Ken Vogel asked the former Minnesota governor whether he'd consider running for the Senate against Al Franken in 2014. "I don't know what my future holds, but I'm really enjoying my time in the private sector," he said. Ken followed up by asking whether he'd consider joining the Romney administration. "I don't know what my future holds, but I'm really enjoying my time in the private sector," he repeated.
STEPHEN BALDWIN, Alec's brother, challenged Jon Allen and Jake Sherman to do a stage-dive with him at the Kid Rock concert later Wednesday during an interview at the POLITICO Hub.
RICK SANTORUM hung out at the CNN Grill after his convention speech. He posed for a photo with "Harry" from Sex and the City. He chatted with Democratic strategist Donna Brazile at half-past midnight outside. When one network embed called him governor on the way inside, he corrected her. "Senator," he said.
POLITICO's Caitlin McDevitt, Darren Goode, MJ Lee, Dylan Byers, Jonathan Martin, Tim Mak and Ginger Gibson contributed to this report.