Many at the Republican National Convention loved Clint Eastwood's speech. But for others, the 82-year-old Oscar-winner's conversation with a chair was "kinda odd," writes the Star's Daniel Dale. Judge for yourself:
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wave from the stage on August 30, 2012 on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). The RNC culminates today with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the GOP presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the US presidential election. (STAN HONDASTAN/AFP PHOTO)
"Were he facing a more charismatic candidate than Mitt Romney or a less
extremist bunch than the Republicans, Mr Obama would already be staring
at defeat. The fact that the president has had to “go negative” so early
and so relentlessly shows how badly he needs the election to be about
Mr Romney’s weaknesses rather than his own achievements."
If a place where more than fifty American talk radio hosts are talking at once is the worst place on earth, the worst place on earth is the Republican convention's Radio Row, where outfits big (Fox News) and small (Little Rock's FM 102.9 KARN News Radio) do their live broadcasting from little tables.
The cacophonous Radio Row setup - it's actually three rows - allows bigshots like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, former RNC chief Michael Steele and bombthrower Ann Coulter to do lots of appearances very quickly with influential conservative talkers. Here's Coulter doing one of them on Wednesday:
When she sat down, the man to her right told her she had immediately "raised the standard of this radio station." Which calls into question the standard of that radio station. As does the station's banner, which was sponsored by a company called Horton's Orthotics and Prosthetics.
Radio Row was created in the 1990s, "when talk radio became very powerful in the political equation," syndicated conservative host Rodger Hedgecock said Wednesday. It allows the hosts to get rare and valuable face time with prominent people they usually talk to only on the phone.
"So the next time I have them on the phone, it's a lot more familiar," Hedgecock said.
Here's Hedgecock, standing at right, and one of the rows:
In what almost passes for a protest march here, four smiling young people wearing black shirts and buttons reading things like "TAX THE RICH" congregated on a street corner near the security perimeter on Thursday morning. Asked what they were up to, one said, truthfully, "Just going for a walk."
He said the hurricane threat might have contributed to the paltry protester showing this week. The lack of a protest "culture" in Florida might have also been a factor, he said.
Callista Gingrich, very conservative and Newt Gingrich-like wife of Newt Gingrich, writes children's books about how America is super-awesome. She signed copies of Sweet Land of Libertyat the convention's women's pavilion on Thursday - while sitting in between a tough-looking security person and a person in an elephant costume. ("Ellis the Elephant" is the book's protagonist, which is described on Amazon.com as a "a must read for children and parents alike who want to explore our
nation’s great history — and discover why America is a free and
Here, Ellis gets indignant:
Callista and Ellis happily posed for photos with both children and adults. Tampa's Fred and Marie Carlson brought their two toddlers, Lyndsey and Kyle; Lyndsey is a big fan of the book - especially, she said, the drawings of American flags.
"I'm gonna show which one I like," Lyndsey told a reporter in the most adorable tone possible, then flipped to the page about Iwo Jima.
Fred, a businessman who has considered Newt Gingrich a "big role model" since his rise to prominence with the 1994 Contract With America, said the book "teaches good values."
"It talks a lot about freedom. And that's what I love. Hey Lyndsey, can you tell him: America is the land of the..." Lyndsey, enthusiastically: "SEA!" She buried her head in shame, then got it right: "FREE!"
The Republican National Convention wraps up tonight with a slew of high profile speeches.
The Star's team of reporters will live blog the prime time show from the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Scheduled events begin at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at 7 p.m. ET. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his third wife Callista speak during the 7 p.m. hour, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 8 p.m., the so-called "mystery speaker" at 9 p.m. and, finally, the Mittster at 10 p.m.
Read our full coverage of the RNC.
If you're not a fan of former American Idol'er Taylor Hicks, who performs tonight at the Republican National Convention, all that was really left to get excited about was, well, Mitt Romney's big speech and the identity of the so-called "mystery speaker" sandwiched between Hicks and the Republican presidential nominee.
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