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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!”

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.

'2016': A slick pitch to the anti-Obama faithful

Watching 'Obama's America' outside the GOP convention in Tampa.
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A promotional poster is seen at the Rave Fairfax Corner movie theater in Fairfax, Virginia announcing the new movie "2016: Obama's America" that opened in theaters across the US, Aug. 24, 2012. (Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla. — Just 24 hours ago I had never heard of “2016: Obama’s America.” Now the new documentary film by Dinesh D’Souza is all I can think about.

GOP 2012: This was the day that wasn’t

The Republican National Convention gets off to a rocky — and damp — start.
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Chairman of the Republican National Convention Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 27. Due to Tropical Storm Isaac, the convention was quickly adjourned to order until the afternoon on Tuesday. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican National Convention was duly convened and immediately adjourned Monday afternoon, amid waning fears of major weather problems. Tropical Storm Isaac was usurping headlines all day, but otherwise had scant impact on Tampa. The RNC schedule had to be compacted down to three days from the original four — which meant no Donald Trump or Gov. Bobby Jindal. But in an effort to court the Latino vote, it appears the scheduled daily Hispanic briefing remains on the program.

GOP 2012: Pink flamingos and politics

Republicans party hearty at the launch of the convention in Tampa.
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The floor at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is set Aug. 26 for the Republican National Convention. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — One thing you can say about Republicans, they sure know how to throw a party. As Tropical Storm Isaac barreled down on Florida and protesters geared up to try and disrupt the proceedings, some 15,000 delegates, guests and journalists gathered Sunday night at Tropicana Field, home of baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Not that it looked like a baseball diamond. In fact, it looked a bit like Las Vegas, minus the Black Jack tables. Pink flamingos wandered through the enormous hall as scantily clad cheerleaders danced on stages, their images thrown onto huge screens. And everywhere was the loud, pounding music.
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