TAMPA---In a raucous, party-like atmosphere, Republicans officially nominated Mitt Romney as their presidential standard-bearer, alongside his pick for a running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Despite the fact that Romney had secured 2,061 delegates during the primaries—far beyond the 1,044 necessary to earn the nod—there was still some drama in the convention hall. During the nomination procedures, a group of upset Maine elected delegates who support Texas Rep. Ron Paul lead rounds of jeering that got so loud at one point Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus had to gavel them down and ask for "respect."
The group was denied seats on the floor due to internal party wrangling in Maine.
Despite the kerfuffle, the proceeding really was about the former Massachusetts governor.
John Sununu, a longtime Romney supporter and former New Hampshire governor, offered up Romney's formal nomination.
"At these critical times, America needs a leader," he told the audience filled with state delegates. "Our economy is stagnant, our vitality has been sapped, our confidence is down. We're saddled with a failed presidency with an incumbent president who has not led. America needs real change."
Highlighting Romney's economic and energy proposals, Sununu added that, "America needs Mitt Romney at the helm."
"We have 23 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed because Barack Obama cannot figure out what makes free enterprise work," he said to thunderous cheers. "Mitt Romney will get our private sector moving again and will respect the successes of our entrepreneurs who deserve credit because they really did build that."
Also offering nomination speeches from the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum were long-time Romney supporters Ron Kaufman, a political operative and veteran GOP consultant, and Barbara Comstock, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
"A friend who founded Staples with Mitt Romney once said to me, 'The great thing about Mitt Romney is that he makes everyone who is around him greater than they were,' " Kaufman said.
Comstock praised Romney's faith and commitment to the people who meant most to him.
"Throughout his life, friends, family, businesses, charities, troubled entities and a commonwealth have turned to a leader, Mitt Romney, when they needed wisdom, support or a turnaround," she said. "Each time he answered the call and led."
In one of the more light-hearted, state-centric portions of the convention week, states announced their delegate support for Romney in alphabetical order. Representatives offered colorful introductions of their state and then the number of delegates casting their ballots for Romney. Other former presidential candidates, such as Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and even Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer received the support of a handful of delegates.
Paul supporters, long a thorn in Romney's side due to their passionate support and willingness to keep fighting for their candidate long after the nomination was secure, were faithfully cheering each time Paul racked up a delegate.
The formal proceedings ended with top Republican officials announcing Romney the presidential nominee. He is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday evening.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.