Convention Daybook: Mitt Romney's Big Night — Brought to you by CIT

Welcome to National Journal’s Convention Daybook, which provides a floor schedule and a list of major events at the Republican National Convention each day.


For Mitt Romney, today is the day. Months of campaigning—and years of organizing—will culminate tonight when he takes the stage to accept the Republican nomination for president and speak to millions of television viewers. Romney’s speech will mark the end of the convention and the start in earnest of a two-man race. Here are highlights from today’s floor action.

7 p.m.

  • Connie Mack, Florida representative and Senate nominee
  • Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, and Callista Gingrich
  • Craig Romney

8 p.m.

  • Jeb Bush, former Florida governor
  • Bob White, chairman of Romney for President campaign
  • Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples

9 p.m.

  • Kerry Healey, former Massachusetts lieutenant governor
  • Jane Edmonds, former Massachusetts director of Workforce Development
  • Olympians Michael Eruzione, Derek Parra, and Kim Rhode

10 p.m.

  • Marco Rubio, Florida senator
  • Mitt Romney, presidential nominee


For the most up-to-date information, please visit National Journal’s events page, log in to NJ’s mobile apps, or contact event organizers.

7-12 A.M. – Relax With The Huffington Post

This oasis isn’t a mirage. The Huffington Post is offering yoga lessons, massages, and healthy snacks in its relaxation station. Drop by when you need a break from the din and excitement of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Aja Channelside, 290 S. Meridian Ave. Free.

8-10 A.M. – Playbook Breakfast

Join Politico Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen for a morning briefing on politics and the convention. Politico and the Tampa Bay Times cohost. 400 N. Ashley Drive. Free, but RSVP required. Contact:

8 A.M.-6 P.M. – The Elephant in the Room

There’s still time to drop by “The Elephant in the Room” exhibition, a collaboration between CL Space and Tempus Projects highlighting political-themed artwork that has been running throughout the convention. Exhibition closes Friday at 7 p.m. CL Space, 1911 N. 13th St., Suite W200. Free.

8:30-10 A.M. – Alabama Politics

Catch up on Alabama politics over breakfast with the state’s delegates. Crowne Plaza Tampa-Westshore, 5303 W. Kennedy Blvd. Free. Contact: 608-770-2819.

9-10 A.M. – Breakfast Panel on U.S. Fiscal Challenges

Top policymakers and experts will take part in this breakfast panel on the country’s fiscal challenges, hosted by Bloomberg and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Participants include Peterson Foundation President Michael Peterson, Elaine Chao of the Heritage Foundation, Romney campaign Policy Director Lanhee Chen, and American Action Forum President Doug Holtz-Eakin. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 200. RSVP:

9-10:30 A.M. – The Hill Breakfast

Drop by The Hill’s morning-review breakfast, led by its editorial Election Team. Holland & Knight Library, 100 N. Tampa St., 42nd Floor. Invitation only.

9:15-9:32 A.M. – Best of Tampa

Front Row Tampa Bay has been pointing out the best of Tampa to viewers of its special convention programming all week, with the top two of the show’s top 10 locations revealed in this segment. Tune in to the livestream here to learn about the best the city has to offer. Contact: 813-924-8218.

9:30-11 A.M. – Election Analysis

Join National Journal, The Atlantic, and CBS News for their final daily briefing of the Republican convention. Campaign managers and senior strategists John Brabender (Brabender Cox), Mike DuHaime (Mercury), Sara Fagan (DDC Advocacy), and Terry Nelson (FP1 Strategies) will weigh in on the 2012 race in a discussion moderated by The Atlantic’s James Bennett, NJ’s Ronald Brownstein and CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Carne Chophouse, 1536 E. Seventh Ave. Free. Contact:

10-11:30 A.M. – Shifting Winds in the Middle East

From the Arab Spring to the crisis in Syria, the Middle East has changed dramatically in the past year. AJC-Global Jewish Advocacy convenes a group of experts to discuss the shifting region, and how those shifts may impact U.S. foreign policy. St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Bayview Room, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Contact:

11 A.M.-12:30 P.M. – Innovation and the National Debt

Discuss the impact of the rising national debt on business growth and innovation with former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and Bloomberg Government’s Robert Litan. Peter G. Peterson Foundation President Michael Peterson will participate and Bloomberg Businessweek Editor-in-Chief Josh Tyrangiel will moderate the conversation. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 200. RSVP:

11 A.M.-1 P.M. – ‘We Don’t Believe in Obamacare’ with Newt U

Graduate from “Newt U” today after the final session of this weeklong series of public policy workshops hosted by former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Today’s lesson, “‘We Believe in America’—We Don’t Believe in Obamacare,” will focus on health care. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia are among those who will speak. Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort, Grand Ballroom D, 400 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater. The event is open to credentialed convention media and activists and party officials attending the convention.

11 A.M.-2 P.M. – Lawyers for Romney

Calling all lawyers: The Republican National Lawyers Association is hosting an event just for you. The reception to honor Mitt Romney’s legal team has been billed as the only event at the GOP convention exclusively for lawyers. Guests include leading Romney campaign lawyers, former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Rep. Darrell Issa of California. American Action Network Pavilion at Liberty Plaza, 180 S. Morgan St. Open to RNLA members, convention delegates and invited guests. Contact:

11 A.M.-2 P.M. – Lunch for $10

Yelp Tampa Bay is setting up pop-up lounges throughout the week to highlight local businesses. Guests who check in with Yelp’s mobile app get special deals. Today’s is $10 for any sandwich and house wine, select beer, or soda. Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge, 777 N. Ashley Drive. Free and open to the public.

11:30 A.M. – Book Signing with Callista Gingrich

Meet Callista Gingrich, author of Sweet Land of Liberty, a children's book about American exceptionalism, when she hosts a book signing this morning at the Woman Up! Pavilion. Keep your eyes open, in case former Speaker Newt Gingrich or Ellis the Elephant himself makes an appearance. 615 Channelside Drive.

Noon-1:30 P.M. – Allstate-NJ Heartland Monitor Poll Discussion

Jeff Eisenach of the American Enterprise Institute, Alex Gage of TargetPoint Consulting, and Jocelyn Landau of FTI Consulting will discuss insights from the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll series in a panel moderated by NJ’s Ronald Brownstein and hosted by National Journal and The Atlantic. Carne Chophouse, 1536 E. Seventh Ave. By invitation. Contact:

Noon-4 P.M. – New York Delegation Beach Party

New York state beaches are often beautiful, but the chilly waters can't compare with the turquoise Gulf off of Florida’s coast. Before heading home, the New York state delegation will be enjoying a beach party at a hip hotel in St. Pete. Postcard Inn on the Beach, 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Petersburg. Contact: 608-770-2819.

Noon-12:17 P.M. – Justin Sayfie Interviews Florida Reps.

Local political blogger Justin Sayfie interviews Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida and Florida State Rep. Jeff Brandes as part of the convention-week Front Row Tampa Bay programming. Head over to the Stageworks theater to see the interview in person, or click here to check out the livestream. Stageworks Theater, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd. Contact: 813-924-8218.

12:30-1:30 P.M. – Young People and the Dynamic Workforce

How will America’s changing demographics impact its work force, and how can government policies help improve opportunities for young people? Ask George P. Bush of St. Augustine Partners, Daniel Diaz Leyva of Infante Zumpano, Nina Vaca-Humrichouse of Pinnacle Technical Services, and Adam Putnam of the Florida Agriculture Department at this Bloomberg/2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee lunch. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 200. RSVP:

12:47-1 P.M. – The Future of Tampa Bay

Front Row Tampa Bay has broadcast more than 17 hours of stories about life in the region this week. If you didn't have time to tune in, don't worry: The show will wrap up its coverage and talk about the Tampa Bay region's future in this final segment. Click here to tune into the livestream. Contact: 813-924-8218.

1-2 P.M. – Life Without Broadband

Conventions without Internet feel like a distant dream, but life without broadband is a reality for parts of the country. The panel at this Bloomberg/Broadband for America event on expanding broadband access and building the country’s digital infrastructure includes former Sen. John Sununu, honorary cochairman of Broadband for America. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 200. RSVP:

1:30-3 P.M.
— Women in Business
Businesses owned by women are a powerful and growing segment of the economy. The Woman Up! Pavilion hosts a discussion—titled “Yes. It Is My Business!”—on the barriers women-owned businesses face, and how women can successfully build their companies. RSVP here.

2 P.M.
— Occupy Wall Street Movie
Occupy Unmasked is a movie that “reveals the sinister, organized, and highly orchestrated nature” of the Occupy movement’s leaders, host Citizens United says. Registration is free and online. RSVP, photo ID required. Contact:

2-3 P.M.
— Improving American Education
An all-star slate of guests will tackle that most eternal of questions—how to improve the American education system—at this Bloomberg/2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee panel, part of their weeklong economic development series. Speakers include: Former Gov. Jeb Bush, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Javier Palomarez, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 200. RSVP:

3-5 P.M.
— Sheriff Joe and the Zoo
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich isn't the only Republican who loves the zoo. Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio will address Western state delegates at a reception featuring real-live (what else?) elephants at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. 1101 W. Sligh Ave. By invitation.

3-7 P.M.
— Latino Heritage Reception
Four hours may be a long time to mingle, but this event is billed as a celebration of a lot of history. The Latino Coalition hosts a reception celebrating Latino heritage. Liberty Plaza, 180 S. Morgan St. By invitation.

3:30-5:30 P.M.
— Facebook Party
Request new friendships and join new groups at Facebook’s “Apps & Drinks” cocktail party, where guests will get to mingle with Facebook staffers and technology-industry insiders. But the privacy settings to this event are strict: To get in, you need an invitation. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Level 3. By invitation.

4-6 P.M.
— Free Enterprise Event
Americans for Prosperity toasts free enterprise and the business success of two of the organization’s leaders: David Koch and Art Pope. Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation, 124 S. Franklin St. Photo ID and RSVP required.

4:30-6:30 P.M. — Antiabortion Women Reception
Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are among the antiabortion speakers who will deliver remarks at this reception for women who oppose abortion. Organized by the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Susan B. Anthony List, it will take place at the YG Network’s Woman Up! pavillion. 615 Channelside Drive., Suite 203. Credentialed media may attend.

4-6 P.M.
— Celebrating Republican Governors
Celebrate Republican governors—and maybe even shake hands with a few—at this event hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. Open to RJC members, convention delegates and alternates; RSVP required. Crowne Plaza Tampa-Westshore, Treasure Island Ballroom, 5303 W. Kennedy Blvd. RSVP: 855-253-3996. Contact:

4-6 P.M.
— Log Cabin Republican Reception
Log Cabin Republicans PAC hosts an invitation-only reception to celebrate members of Congress working to advance gay rights. Special guests include Reps. Judy Biggert of Illinois, Robert Dold of Illinois, and Mary Bono Mack of California. Liberty Plaza, 180 S. Morgan St. Free, but RVSP required. This event is closed to press.

5-8 P.M.
— Bad Monkey Lounge
Miss the Yelp lounge earlier today? Hit up Bad Monkey, the last venue of the weeklong series of pop-up lounges that Yelp Tampa Bay has hosted to highlight local businesses. Folks who check in using the Yelp mobile app will get 50 percent off select bottles of beer at this military-themed Ybor City bar. 1717 E. Seventh Ave. Free and open to the public.

6-11 P.M.
Politico Live Show
Watch a broadcast of convention speeches with reporters and insiders and get the chance to participate in the Politico live show. Cocktails will be served. Rivergate Tower, 400 N. Ashley Drive. RSVP here.

7-11 P.M.
— Speeches on the Floor
Red, white, and blue balloons will fall on this, the final night of the GOP 2012 convention, capped off when Mitt Romney accepts the GOP presidential nomination. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich and wife Callista will also speak.

9 P.M.
— '80s After-Party
Rubik’s Cubes, large hair and Walkmen: This '80s-themed after-party, presented by Sunset Events, features music from the Reagan era and will be held at Tampa’s only “super club.” What is a “super club,” you ask? This one has more than 20 VIP tables and a 30-foot rotating dance floor. Ampitheatre, 1609 E. Seventh Ave. Contact: 813-873-8368.

9 P.M.-2 A.M.
— Camp Freddy Concert
L.A. super-group Camp Freddy perform at this exclusive concert to benefit wounded veterans. A video game lounge provided by the Entertainment Software Association will be on the premises. 1 Oak Tent, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive. By invitation.

10 P.M.
— Zac Brown Band Concert
You know I like my chicken fried/A cold beer on a [Thursday] night.... The Zac Brown Band will be playing at this party, hosted by the American Petroleum Institute. Members of the Romney family are rumored to be on the guest list. Tampa Port Authority, Terminal 3, 815 Channelside Drive. By invitation.

11 P.M.-2 A.M.
— Yacht Party
A number of state delegations will board a yacht to celebrate the final night of the convention. And why not? This is Florida, after all. Yacht Star Ship, 603 Channelside Drive. Free.

11 P.M.-2:30 A.M.
— Scott Walker Party
The Wisconsin delegation will gather on the last night of the convention to celebrate Gov. Scott Walker, the man who took on the unions and survived a recall election. You don’t have to be from the Badger State to join the party. The Tampa Club, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd. #4200. Free. Contact: 608-770-2819.

11 P.M.-2:30 A.M.
— Alabama Dance Party
With all official convention business officially concluded, attendees of Alabama’s final-night gala will be free to dance the night away and make one last Tampa memory. The Chart House, 7616 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway. Free. Contact: 608-770-2819.

11:30 P.M.-2:30 A.M.
— Louisiana Party
Hurricane Isaac may have kept Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal away from Tampa, but his absence isn't stopping the Bayou State's delegation from saluting him at their final convention party. University Club of Tampa, 201 N. Franklin St., 38th Floor. Free. Contact: 608-770-2819.

Convention Daybook is compiled by
National Journal’s Catherine Hollander and Sophie Quinton. To provide information on events such as tips or updates, please contact