This time, the daughters were in the audience, but their proud, fond smiles as their father spoke were a vivid reminder of the primary days.
— Sally Buzbee
JUST HANGING AROUND
The balloons are ready.
They won't fall to the convention floor in vivid red, blue and white disarray until Mitt Romney gives his acceptance speech on Thursday night. But they're waiting — tied up in big nets hanging high from the ceiling of the Forum in Tampa where Republican National Convention delegates are meeting.
Volunteers helped tie the balloons and lifted them to the ceiling before the convention started. Nestled among them are some huge, white beach ball-looking balloons — it will be interesting to see how those fall.
— Sally Buzbee
QUICKQUOTE: ANN ROMNEY
"We're too smart to know there aren't easy answers. But we're not dumb enough to accept that there aren't better answers. And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in. His name is Mitt Romney and you should really get to know him." — Ann Romney, in her convention address, speaking about her husband.
A quick exchange between Mitt and Ann Romney, at their hotel before they left for the convention hall:
Mitt Romney: "Break a leg — you'll do great"
Ann Romney: "I am excited. I am not nervous."
— Kasie Hunt — http://twitter.com/kasie
The Republican Party's convention speeches are putting emphasis on restoring the American Dream. People's faith in the concept does seem to be fading.
A Pew Research Center poll released Monday found 63 percent say "most people who want to get ahead can make it if they're willing to work hard," down from a high of 74 percent in 1999.
Another third say hard work is no guarantee of success.
— Jennifer Agiesta — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennagiesta
ROMNEY ALL BUT IGNORED
The rivalry between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney calmed enough for Romney to give his one-time bitter rival a speaking slot at his nominating convention. It didn't calm enough for Santorum to have much positive to say about his Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee.
Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who was the final obstacle between Romney and enough delegates to capture the nomination, only mentioned Romney at the tail end of his speech on the first night of the party's convention. Judging from his speech, he still doesn't have a lot good to say about the man he once called "''the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."
Santorum's speech script ran 1,150 words before he uttered Romney's name.
After? Just 28 words were scripted before Santorum exited the stage.
— Philip Elliott — Twitter http://twitter.com/philip_elliott
'WE DIDN'T LET GO'
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the story of his 4-year-old daughter Bella, born with a serious genetic condition. Doctors advised the Santorums that Bella wouldn't live long and they should "prepare to let her go."
"We didn't let go, and today Bella is full of life and she has made our lives and countless others much more worth living," he said.
In his speech to the Republican convention, the former presidential candidate related Bella's story to the party's anti-abortion stance:
"I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God's children — born and unborn — and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream."
— Connie Cass —Twitter http://twitter.com/ConnieCass
WHAT THE CAMERA DOESN'T SHOW
Ever wonder what really happens on the floor during a political convention? Is everyone really sitting there rapt, hanging on the speaker of the hour's every word.