TAMPA—Conventionland is home to many different tribes. And, in a city as sprawling as Tampa, geography is everything. RNC press materials don’t provide a map of the different clan’s stomping grounds (something like the handy diagrams inside Game of Thrones). So, I’ll attempt to map out the GOP 2012 landscape for you. The center of power, the capital of Conventionland, is made up of two massive structures: The Tampa Convention Center and the Tampa Bay Times Forum (where the nightly televised events take place).
TAMPA—Feeling a little addled by the mess of white tents, clueless volunteers, and hapless security of the GOP convention, ladies? Respite awaits at Tampa’s “Woman Up Pavilion,” a convention-week oasis located just a few doors down from the Hooters in a Tampa shopping center. Inside, guests can attend panels on social media and space exploration, or simply while away the time sipping signature cocktails—the “Lady Lemonade,” say, or the “Woman Uptini,” made of Grey Goose L’orange, triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry.
THERE WAS A TIME when it was no fun to be a Mormon in Washington. In 1903, Utah sent a Mormon named Reed Smoot to the U.S. Senate, prompting a series of hearings the following year to decide whether a Mormon should be even permitted to serve in the chamber. The trial had nothing to do with Smoot’s qualifications and everything to do with his strange-seeming faith, in particular its association with polygamy. “It is the Mormon Church that we intend to investigate,” thundered Senator Julius C.
If you’re waiting for the Romney campaign’s “etch a sketch” moment on immigration, it seems to have quietly arrived. Last week I had a revealing email exchange with a Romney advisor. I had written an item about Mitt Romney’s trouble with the Latino vote and referred to an anti-immigration advertisement from the Romney camp. A few days later, I got an email from an advisor to the Romney campaign, letting me know that I’d mistakenly referred to a Romney ad that ran during the 2007-2008 cycle.