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On the road with the 2012 US election.

DNC 2012: Michelle Obama wraps up Women’s Day in Charlotte

The woman-in-chief gave a rousing speech to cap a day the Democrats devoted largely to women’s issues.
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First lady Michelle Obama waves to the crowd at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC, on Sept. 4, on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC — From the moment first lady Michelle Obama strode onto the stage at the Times Warner Cable Arena Tuesday night, she held her audience in the palm of her hand. Hundreds of “We love Michelle” signs bobbed up and down, while thundering applause made it impossible for her to begin her speech. But eventually she launched into a heartfelt and impassioned defense of her husband and the American Dream, along the way delivering a few body blows to his challenger, whose name was never mentioned in her address.

DNC 2012: Carolinafest celebrates all things Obama

Women’s groups, actors and music stars turn out for the Democrats on a soggy day in Charlotte.
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Carolinafest in Charlotte gets caught in a downpour on Sept. 3 ahead of the Democratic National Convention. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE — “You won’t find many Republicans here,” laughed Phil Rutledge, a resident of North Carolina’s “Queen City.” Rutledge was one of thousands who poured out onto the streets for the “Carolinafest,” a one-day extravaganza of concerts, art exhibits and good down- home cookin’ devoted to making delegates and visitors to the Democratic National Convention feel welcome.

DNC 2012: The lull before the storm

Charlotte, North Carolina greets delegates with sunshine and protests.
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A general view of the inside of the arena during the Democratic National Convention Committee Unveiling Stage for the DNC at Time Warner Cable Arena on August 31, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Streeter Lecka/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC — Hot sun pours down on the “Queen City” as delegates and media begin to assemble for the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to begin here Tuesday.

RNC 2012: The good, the bad, and the just plain weird

Summing up the “reinvention convention.”
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A sign sits on the floor after Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accepted the nomination during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla.—As the 2012 GOP convention quickly recedes onto the trash heap of history, it may be worth taking a few moments to think about what, exactly, happened.

Republican convention 2012: You gotta believe!

Analysis: Mitt Romney’s rousing, rosy vision of America stirs souls but delivers little else.
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Mitt Romney speaks during the final day of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. on Aug. 29. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA — The Republican National Convention closed Thursday night amid swirling balloons and soaring spirits, as Mitt Romney exhorted his followers to have faith in the American Dream. “If I am elected president of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future,” he said. “That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it!”

GOP platform heard loud and clear at the convention

Speakers have been careful to reinforce the conservative manifesto adopted by the Republican Party in Tampa.
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Romney supporters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29, 2012. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA — It may be a truism that politicians never read the party platform, but that doesn’t make it true. The document adopted on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa is certainly worth reading, even at a dense 54 pages. “The 2012 Republican Platform is a statement of who we are and what we believe as a Party and our vision for a stronger and freer America,” begins the preamble.

Paul Ryan's troubling debut at the Republican National Convention

Analysis: The VP nominee brings down the house in Tampa. But was he factual?
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Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) August 29, 2012 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The RNC will culminate on August 30th with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the GOP presidential and vice presidential candidates in the US presidential election. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla. — Paul Ryan put on quite a show Wednesday night, provoking sustained applause and ear-splitting cheers as he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for vice president of the United States.

CODEPINK up against the Republican red

As Rick Santorum speaks, a women’s group stages a protest inside the Tampa convention hall.
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CODEPINK protesters interact with police at the Stratz Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 28, in Tampa, Florida, as the Republican National Convention continues. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
TAMPA — A commotion could be heard in the upper reaches of the cavernous hall. A young woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, although her words were indistinguishable to many down below. Her message was simple: If you claim to be pro-life, then do things that strengthen life. Stop the wars, help women get access to quality health care. Make education affordable.

Red, white and, er, beige: Republican dress codes

Some ruminations on the fashion parade at the RNC in Tampa.
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Delegates from California listen to Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, on Aug. 28, during the Republican National Convention. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA — Is there anything distinctly Republican about the tailoring on display in Tampa?

RNC Day Two: We built it!

The Republican National Convention finally gets down to business.
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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla. – It was half political rally, half revival meeting at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday night.