RNC 2012: 8 takeaways

TAMPA, Fla. — The sometimes soggy, slightly-shortened GOP convention is over. The party leaves this steamy city itching to beat President Barack Obama, finally accepting its new standard-bearer after his emotional acceptance speech and feeling a sense of comfort that its future could rest in the hands of two of this week’s stars: Ryan and Rubio.

They leave more confident that Romney has a fall fight in him, and he certainly tried hard to win them over. He gave them a greater sense of his story, delivered powerfully through movies, testimonials, his wife’s address and his own Thursday night, in which he choked up at times, and at others brought the crowd to its feet.

1. Romney opened up

In a speech that was heavier than normal on biography, the candidate accepted his nomination by talking about the “disappointment” of Obama’s tenure, the desperate need for corrective action this election, and the promises the president made that weren’t met.

The speech was largely an expanded version of his stump address, but it was well-written, and well-delivered. He performed as well as he has this cycle. Even Romney’s detractors in the party said they thought he turned in a strong enough performance to help himself with voters just tuning in, and those beyond the GOP base. The nominee talked about his father in familiar terms to those who’ve watched his speeches, but with genuine emotion, his voice catching at times.

The former Bain Capital head touted his business experience at length, before a televised audience of millions.
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