Dispatches From the Republican National Convention

Some Veteran Republicans Are Still Sweating This Convention
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Aug. 29 2012 10:09 PM

Dispatches From the Republican National Convention

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What I learned on a brief walk around the convention.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Being on the floor of the convention is like working in Congress. You can get things done just by wandering. I just ran into a senior Republican official and Romney backer who is still nursing worries about Ryan. "We should be talking about jobs but we're still talking about Medicare," said this GOP veteran. "We need to have someone talking about Mitt Romney that's not his wife." That is one of the hopes for Ryan tonight. He tells a pretty good story about Romney. 

A Republican senator I ran into broke the race into three parts: an economic race (which Romney is winning), a personality race (which he's not winning), and a demographic race (which he's losing). 

Oh hey look, Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who will be playing Paul Ryan in debate prep with Joe Biden. He's here in Tampa to do counter-programming on Ryan's big night. (He entered the hall with a media pass; he says so far Republicans have been very nice to him.) As the ranking Democrat in the House Budget committee, Van Hollen was one of the two Democrats the Romney campaign listed when making the case that Ryan was a bipartisan dealmaker, but he's now a top surrogate working against him. 

Now I'm back at my CBS post for the big speeches of the night: Condoleezza Rice and Paul Ryan. 

John

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.