Convention Update: Tampa’s Cast Still Leaves Questions

National Journal

EDITOR’S NOTE: National Journal’s Convention Update is designed to bring you convention news regularly throughout the month. News on the Democratic and Republican conventions will alternate weeks. Those who signed up for both will receive both. We hope you enjoy it.

In National Journal’s Republican National Convention Update this week, the tea party’s role in Tampa remains unclear; both Presidents Bush plan to skip the week, for different reasons; and select venues of the adult entertainment sector are getting ready for a lucrative few days. 

Romney's Tea Party Test: Who Will Speak at His Convention?
[National Journal, 7/23/12] The convention poses both a test and an opportunity for Mitt Romney. By his speaker choices, he could put to rest the lingering perception that there’s a gulf between him and a skeptical segment of the GOP base--or not. 

Bush 41 and 43 To Both Skip Convention
[New York Times, 7/20/12] George W. Bush will continue his self-imposed seclusion, with a spokesman saying he’ll be skipping out on Tampa to “stay off the political stage.” His father, George H.W., will not be attending due to health reasons

Before the Convention, There's the Commute
[Reuters, 7/27/12] Since rooming assignments were announced this spring, there's been a rumble of discontent among party members, who typically shell out thousands of dollars to attend their party's presidential nominating jamboree. Some Republicans are in disbelief over how much time they will have to spend on a bus to get to the site. 

Security Beefed Up Ahead Of Tampa Convention
[CBS Miami, 7/22/12] Although Tampa has hosted four Super Bowls, security for the convention will be quite different, and police are gearing up for the inevitable protesters who will congregate outside. Security personnel are taking lessons from St. Paul in 2008, where some protestors smashed cars, punctured tires and threw bottles at police.

Chris Christie Convention Talk Premature, GOP Says
[Washington Post, 7/18/12] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not confirmed whether he will accept an offer to be the keynote address at this year’s convention, contrary to some reports. The Romney campaign said it would release a list of speakers in time, but Christie’s presence would clearly be popular among Republicans.

Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on GOP Convention
[New York Times, 7/26/12] Local businesses are getting ready for a big revenue boom from the Republican National Convention--including strip clubs. The Times reports that some clubs will have Americana themes, one featuring a dead ringer of a “certain ex-governor from a wilderness state.”

Tea Party Looks at Organizing Pre-RNC Rally
[Tampa Bay Times, 7/20/12] Former Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have discussed a rally that would take place on the eve of the convention in support of the tea party. Unite Rally 2012 could take place in the parking lot of the stadium, but further details have yet to emerge.

Ron Paul Not Guaranteed Speaking Slot at Convention
[National Journal, 7/15/12] Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., is not assured a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention this August because he failed to win enough delegates in Nebraska, his final chance to gain the amount needed. 

Walsh to Skip GOP Convention
[CNN, 7/19/12] Entangled in a tough reelection effort in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., is skipping the GOP convention. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., is also skipping the convention, reports the Baltimore Sun

Dold Will Attend Republican National Convention
[National Journal, 6/25/12] One of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House, Robert Dold, who represents an Illinois district that gave Obama 63 percent of the vote in 2008, will be attending the Republican convention.