Yes­ter­day was the final day of the 2012 Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Tam­pa, Flori­da. Here are a few part­ing thoughts on the con­ven­tion from The Seat­tle Times‘ Jim Brun­ner, The Stranger‘s Paul Con­stant, and oth­er jour­nal­ists who were in town cov­er­ing the con­ven­tion from a nation­al perspective.

Paul Con­stant has an essay in The Stranger sum­ma­riz­ing his time in Tam­pa, called Stuck in a Room with Mitt Rom­ney. It’s an extreme­ly well-writ­ten piece which gives a feel for what Tam­pa was like dur­ing the RNC. Con­stant does­n’t just describe the cityscape and the scene inside the Tam­pa Bay Times Forum — he blunt­ly describes the mood and freely shares his impres­sions of the del­e­gates them­selves. Read­ing it, I almost felt like I was there (and glad I wasn’t).

Here’s an excerpt:

All the talk about patri­o­tism, about sup­port­ing the troops, is just lip ser­vice. This is the most unpa­tri­ot­ic crowd I have ever been a part of. What they are against is com­mu­ni­ty. Every sen­tence is devoid of empa­thy. Every fin­ger-wag is aimed direct­ly at an Amer­i­can who can’t afford health insur­ance, who hasn’t had a raise on their min­i­mum-wage job in four years. Even as they rail against a state­ment that the pres­i­dent nev­er real­ly made, they are talk­ing about tear­ing Amer­i­ca down and leav­ing some­thing mean­er and greed­i­er in its place. They’re radicals—radicals who’ve gone over the edge and are try­ing to make their rad­i­cal­ism mainstream.

Yikes. If Paul is going to Char­lotte next week to cov­er the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, I hope the Democ­rats can show him a bet­ter time.

The Tam­pa Bay Times has a whole set of post­mortem pieces in today’s paper (and online). Stephanie Hayes has a recap of Meghan McCain’s birth­day par­ty for her dad, colum­nist Sue Carl­ton asked if the peo­ple of Tam­pa could have their city back, and Eric Deg­gans reflect­ed on how social media made the 2012 RNC dif­fer­ent from past con­ven­tions. The paper also took the trou­ble to ask depart­ing del­e­gates from oth­er states what they thought of the Bay Area, and con­clud­ed that Tam­pa had received mixed reviews.

Seat­tle Times reporter Jim Brun­ner tweet­ed last night that Repub­li­cans did­n’t make use of all of the dec­o­ra­tions ordered for the con­ven­tion. He post­ed a pic­ture on Twit­ter show­ing thou­sands of bal­loons still in the rafters. Brun­ner has yet to file a post­mortem-style piece on the con­ven­tion for the Seat­tle Times, but if and when he does, I’ll update this post with a link (or anoth­er edi­tor will).

Politi­co’s Ken Vogel man­aged to secure some time with right-wing bil­lion­aire David Koch and found out that Koch is (gasp) for mar­riage equal­i­ty — as is Clint East­wood, who stole the show last night dur­ing prime­time with his bizarre stunt in which he pre­tend­ed to have a con­ver­sa­tion with an imag­i­nary Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, por­trayed by a chair. Koch told Vogel “I believe in gay mar­riage” and also sug­gest­ed he would­n’t be opposed to cuts in the defense bud­get, unlike Mitt Rom­ney, who has indi­cat­ed he does­n’t want to reduce mil­i­tary expen­di­tures by one penny.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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