GOP Planning Charlotte Counter-Convention

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 1 2012 3:13 PM

Republicans Plan To Descend on Charlotte for Elaborate Counter-Convention   

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The arena where the Democratic National Convention will take place

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As Barack Obama launches on a four-day tour through battleground states, as well as the battered Gulf Coast, in advance of the Democratic convention, Republicans also planned their carefully choreographed descent on Charlotte for what ABC News calls “an unprecedented counter-convention.”

Although Democrats also had people in Tampa, Republicans plan to counter the Democratic message with as many as 50 “communicators” who will be stationed right outside the gates of the Time Warner Cable Arena. And there will be plenty of gimmicks and props, including “You Build It” Legos, “You Build It” Monopoly and plenty of Kleenex “because breaking up is hard to do.”

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Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign promised it will fill every one of the 73,778 seats in Charlotte’s huge football stadium Thursday night when President Obama officially accepts his party’s nomination, reports the Hill.

As Democrats began arriving in Charlotte, Obama traveled to Iowa Saturday in the first stop of a quick tour through key battleground states. He will then travel to Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia. Obama won all four states in 2008, but they’re “at the top of Romney’s wish list,” points out the Associated Press. For his part, Mitt Romney looked to take advantage of a reenergized base in Ohio Saturday with a speech that amounted to a shortened version of his convention address and focused on jobs.

Romney referenced the fact that he was campaigning on the opening weekend of the college football season and said it’s time for the country to “get a new coach,” points out the Washington Post. His words tie in with what ended up being one of the dominant themes of the Republican National Convention: Obama is a disappointment. It amounted to “a subtle, clever shift in GOP messaging,” writes Politico, pointing out it’s a powerful theme that has the potential to do real damage considering the evident enthusiasm gap when compared to 2008.

“He famously said that he was going to slow the rise of the oceans,” Romney said, as the crowd laughed. “And he was going to heal the planet. And our promise to you is this: We’re going to help the American people and help the families of America.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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