The weather complicated the construction of temporary concert venue Liberty Plaza on Monroe Street in Tampa, but by Tuesday night it was in full swing. Before country baritone Trace Adkins took the stage close to 1 a.m., another familiar deep voice took command of the two-level white tent. Herman Cain warmed up the crowd, making reference to his own tweet earlier in the evening (what's the etiquette of tweet-quoting yourself?): "Ann Romney defined the likeable side of Mitt Romney tonight," referring to her much anticipated speech at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Tuesday.
He went on to commend the speech of New Jersey governor Chris Christie ("I call him the Enforcer") before introducing another crowd favorite, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity.
When Adkins took the stage, suitably attired in a black cowboy hat and red T-shirt sporting a spread-eagled, um, eagle, the assembled delegates seemed revved despite the late hour. He launched into More of Us, followed by Whoop a Man's A-- and Swing, a triumvirate of blood pumping tunes, before wallowing a while in woman troubles. Rebel flag earplugs in place, Adkins rumbled through Marry for Money and This Ain't No Love Song. And for those RNC delegates who were having none of this battle of the sexes, Liberty Plaza showcased some of Tampa's finest out in the cigar tent.