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How Did Mitt Do?

Romney made the biggest speech of his life Thursday night. Was it good enough to move the needle in a close election battle? Daily Beast contributors weigh in on all things RNC.

Mark McKinnon: Backstage at the Bush Movie

As the Republican National Committee pays tribute to 41 and 43, former George W. Bush aide Mark McKinnon reflects on the men he knows—and the film he made in their honor.

The greatest privilege I've had working with President George W. Bush is spending time with him, Laura, and his parents at the family home in Kennebunkport.Of course, the compound at Kennebunkport against the rocks and the sea is breathtaking.

Midday Cowboy at the RNC

He may be more famous these days as Angelina Jolie’s father, but at the GOP convention, actor Jon Voight is a rock star in his own right. He tells Lloyd Grove about ‘the propaganda party,’ the dangers of Obama, and more.
Charles Dharapak / AP Photos

Sure, there will always be Ronald Reagan, but compared with those Hollywood-loving Democrats, the Republican Party has long suffered from a movie-star deficit. Jon Voight has been in Tampa this week trying to make up lost ground.

Protestors: Voter Fraud Is a Fraud

Nearly 1,000 people gathered in Tampa Wednesday to protest voter fraud laws and insist that the laws passed in Florida and other GOP-dominated states unfairly target minority voters, writes Lynn Waddell.
Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

Sara Kilker isn’t normally one to pick up a sign and protest in the street. But the idea that her friend, a nearly 80-year-old elderly African American widower, won’t be able to vote because he doesn’t have an official photo ID prompted her Tuesday to join about 1,000 chanting protesters who marched down the main drag of Tampa’s Ybor City.

Yahoo Cans Staffer for Anti-Romney Slam

Washington bureau chief David Chalian was overheard portraying the Romneys as insensitive to black victims of Tropical Storm Isaac. Howard Kurtz on the dangers of speaking while miked.
Donna Svennevik, ABC / AP Photo

Yahoo abruptly fired its Washington bureau chief on Wednesday after he was caught on a hot mic taking a racially charged swipe at Mitt Romney and his wife. David Chalian lost his job after he was overheard saying that the Romneys are “happy to have a party with black people drowning.

Ann Romney: The Lady In Red

Her red dress at the Republican National Convention was pitch perfect – even if her speech was not. By Robin Givhan.
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

For her debut at the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney selected a perfect TV look: a simple red Oscar de la Renta dress with a face-framing collar.She was styled as a classic vision of a first lady in a dress with a slim bodice and full skirt and matching belt with a sparkling buckle.

Going Negative at Breakfast

Former RNC chief Haley Barbour warned the campaign is going to get uglier—and it’s all Obama’s fault. By Lloyd Grove
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

“It’s gonna get more negative, it’s gonna get more vicious, it’s gonna get nastier.”Haley Barbour wasn’t talking about the Republican National Convention—where the former two-term Mississippi governor graced the Politico Playbook Breakfast on Wednesday—although perhaps he could have been.

Mitt Romney, Distant Presence

As the Tampa team sings his praises, the nominee feels like a bystander. Howard Kurtz on why Romney has yet to own the Republican convention.
David Goldman / AP Photo

The moment that everyone here is buzzing about is when the cameras cut away from Chris Christie's speech and captured Mitt Romney looking on.He appeared, well, sour. A bit peeved, maybe. Impassive. No nod or acknowledgment of the crowd.

Grassroots Revolt in Tampa

An obscure rules change sparks boos on the convention floor and a battle between the establishment and activists. Michelle Goldberg on the convention’s bumpy beginning.
Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

When loud booing broke out on the Republican National Convention floor in Tampa on Tuesday, it wasn’t just coming from die-hard Ron Paul supporters. An obscure change to party rules exposed a larger rift between Mitt Romney’s Republican establishment and the GOP grassroots.

Christie’s Words, Ryan’s Message

The New Jersey governor’s eat-your-broccoli speech to the RNC on Tuesday night was pure Paul Ryan—not Mitt Romney. Peter Beinart on how the vice-presidential nominee has transformed the Romney campaign.
AP Photo (3)

On the first night of the Republican convention, Ann Romney tried to make Americans like Mitt Romney. Then Chris Christie took the stage and reminded them that, ideologically, this campaign isn’t about Mitt Romney. It’s about Paul Ryan.

Ryan Takes the Stage

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

There’s been a lot of GOP spin about how this convention is Mitt Romney’s chance to “introduce himself to the American people.” This is ridiculous: the man’s been running for president for five years. If polls show he has a likability deficiency at this point, it’s his fault, not the public’s lack of attention.

Five Things to Watch at the RNC

The convention’s second day is jam-packed with speeches from top Republican Party stars. From Paul Ryan to John McCain, check out The Daily Beast’s guide to which speeches to watch and which to skip.
Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

As we’ve learned, nothing really good happens at this shindig before 7 p.m., so here’s what to look for after the Republicans get the party started on Day Two of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.Ron Paul VideoThe congressman’s supporters may have caused a bit of a ruckus on the convention floor Tuesday, but Mitt Romney’s campaign will honor his former opponent Wednesday.

The GOP’s Abortion Obsession

Mitt Romney may want to avoid issues of sex and reproduction, but many Republicans are determined to make abortion a campaign issue—and plan to regularly attack Obama as a pro-abortion extremist in the run-up to November.
Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

There were quite a few Todd Akin for Senate stickers at the lunchtime gathering cosponsored by the Family Research Council and RNC for Life on Tuesday. It was an event that felt like a flashback to the primaries, with speeches by Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann—candidates who rallied the hopes of voters eager for a culture-war campaign.

8 Best Christie Speech Moments

After Ann Romney spoke of love, the New Jersey governor changed the subject to respect. From his mom’s advice to some tough talk on leadership and polls, the best of Chris Christie’s keynote speech to the RNC.
Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

New Jersey’s governor found himself in a room full of emotional people Tuesday after Ann Romney delivered a heartwarming speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. But he plowed through his address anyway, attacking Democrats and the Obama administration with the bravado that has come to define him—and he threw in a few touches of warmth and humanity to round out the keynote.

Mitt’s Secret Weapon Sputters

Ann Romney was warm and appealing. But she didn’t reveal diddly about her husband and why we should elect him president. By Michelle Cottle.
Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

So, did Ann do it? Do you see Mitt as more of a regular guy now? What about likable? Human, maybe?Tough call.No question Ann cut quite the appealing figure. Golden. Glorious. Giggly. And how adorable was it when she put her hands to her mouth to show how overwhelmed she was by the crowd’s super warm welcome?The speech itself—aimed directly at women and blatant in its beatification of moms—was solid.

Ann Soars, Christie Stumbles

The candidate’s wife scored in describing a “real marriage” while the governor barely mentioned Romney. Howard Kurtz on an uneven convention kickoff.
AP Photo (2)

The spouse and the would-be running mate faced similar challenges on Tuesday night, to do for Mitt Romney what he has been unable to do for himself.Ann Romney, by far the warmer of the couple, had some success. Chris Christie, who flirted with a presidential run, did himself a whole lot of good, but maybe not much for Romney.

What Do You Think?

Take our RNC poll: RNC 2012 Poll

AUTOTUNE: Paul Ryan Trims the Fat

Before Mitt Romney's veep pick takes the stage at the Republican convention tonight, get to know the hunky congressman with this musical supercut. What's he really all about? Two words: muscle confusion.

  1. Chris Christie's Best Smackdowns Play

    Chris Christie's Best Smackdowns

  2. Is Tampa Ready for 'Magic Mitt'? Play

    Is Tampa Ready for 'Magic Mitt'?

  3. Chris Matthews Attacks RNC Chair Play

    Chris Matthews Attacks RNC Chair

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The Highlights

5 Must-See Moments from the Republican Convention

5 Must-See Moments from the Republican Convention

Clint Eastwood delivers a crazy monologue and more memorable moments from Tampa.

Not Funny

Leave Chris Christie Alone

Enough With the Fat Jokes!

Enough With the Fat Jokes!

From Chris Matthews to Mark Shields, WATCH VIDEO of the most egregious jabs at Chris Christie’s weight.

Earworm

Soundtrack to the Convention

Hear the RNC Playlist!

Hear the RNC Playlist!

From ‘American Idol’ vet Taylor Hicks to Christian rockers The Kantinas, the songs of the convention.

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