Republican delegates look to re-energize Romney White House bid

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Republican delegates look to re-energize Romney White House bid

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Republican delegates look to re-energize Romney White House bid

by AFP Videos 4:19 mins

Republican delegates look to re-energize Romney White House bid

by AFP Videos 4:19 mins

SHOTLIST:TAMPA, FLORIDA, AUGUST 28, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV SOUNDBITE 1 Barbara Cubin (woman), delegate from Wyoming (English, 10 sec):"We aren't lacking enthusiasm, but we don't have the enthusiasm that is possible, so we just need to generate all the enthusiasm we can."SOUNDBITE 2 Marla Fastenese (woman), delegate from Arizona (English, 10 sec): [REGARDING ANN ROMNEY] "It kind of gives you a feel of the whole family, not just him himself, it makes you feel like they're opening their whole entire home to you."SOUNDBITE 3 Delegate (English, 14 sec):"We're leasing lots of coal mining jobs in West Virginia and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and these are real people with real families and real lives and they need to put food on their table and we need to keep America running with American energy."SOUNDBITE 4 Sally Karn (woman), delegate from Oklahoma (English, 11 sec):"I expect her to appeal to all the women in America and I expect her to talk about her husband, what a wonderful husband he's been."SOUNDBITE 5 Carolyn Hodges (woman), delegate from Texas (English, 10 sec):"It's going to bring a united front, a huge sense of enthusiasm to the campaign, and ready to get Obama out of the White House."+ 3 min and 17 sec of images showing: - various shots of the interior of the convention, seen from very high angle - close up shot of a calculator of the federal public debt - various shots of the Texas delegation, wearing cowboy hats - various shots of delegates on the convention floor - various shots of delegates pledging allegiance to the American flag - various shots of the convention arena - various shots of Ron Paul making a tour around the room - various shots of the delegates arriving in the convention hall and into a Romney-Ryan gift shop---------------AFP TEXT STORYUS-vote-Republicans,lead-WRAP All eyes on Ann as Republican convention kicks off by Michael Mathes =(GRAPHIC+PICTURE+VIDEO)= ATTENTION - REFILES to correct day in para 10 to xxx Tuesday xxx sted Wednesday /// TAMPA, Florida, Aug 28, 2012 (AFP) - The convention to crown Mitt Romney as Republican presidential nominee kicked off with the usual blend of political theater and razzmatazz Tuesday despite a hurricane bearing down on New Orleans. Romney flew in two days early to attend a storm-delayed opening night of speeches headlined by his wife Ann's attempt to capture the lighter side of a candidate who has struggled to connect on a human level with many voters. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus launched proceedings before the national anthem was sung and the political feast began with a series of addresses by party luminaries punctuated by upbeat musical numbers. Ann Romney was all smiles as she offered reporters her home-baked cakes on the plane, showing no sign of nerves as she prepared for the biggest speech of her life, one that could be crucial to her husband's hopes. "You will see that my speech is heartfelt, and I think a lot of you have been covering me long enough and you know that I've never gone off of a written text. So this is a unique experience for me," she said. Romney decided to come to hear his wife's pitch, flying to Florida two days earlier than expected and fuelling speculation that he might take the stage and kiss her afterwards, imitating Al Gore and wife Tipper in 2000. First day convention events had to be scrapped or incorporated into the program due to Isaac, a tropical storm which strengthened to a hurricane as it neared New Orleans, threatening to cast a pall over Romney's grand coronation. The storm presented the candidate with a tricky challenge as he must tread a fine line between driving home his political message and showing sensitivity to voters in harm's way. Romney's image will get a carefully scripted makeover during the convention as the Republican White House hopeful aims to close the yawning likability gap between himself and the president. Ann's primetime speech later Tuesday was to lead efforts to weave a new narrative for a candidate who appears stiff and awkward as he interacts with voters and has not been helped by a string of wealth-related gaffes. Charismatic New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will follow Mrs Romney, giving the night's keynote address and no doubt firing up the 20,000 crowd with an impassioned tear-down of President Barack Obama and a ringing endorsement of Romney. While most surveys show the former Massachusetts governor trumping Obama on the crucial question of who voters trust more to handle the flagging US economy, he trails the president badly in terms of likability. Romney lies neck-and-neck with Obama in national polls 10 weeks before an election that should be his for the taking given the sour economic times -- America's unemployment lingers stubbornly above eight percent. Many Americans do not tune in until the convention season starts -- Obama and the Democrats hold theirs next week in Charlotte, North Carolina -- so Tampa provides Romney with a golden opportunity to reintroduce himself. "For the Romney folks this is a chance to speak to a lot of voters who have only paid casual attention so far," Charles Franklin, politics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told AFP. "Some will be looking for the first time, others will be reconsidering and open to some change," he added. The run-up to the convention was marred by incendiary remarks from Todd Akin, a Republican congressman seeking a Senate seat in Missouri, who suggested women's bodies spontaneously prevent pregnancy after a "legitimate rape." The Romney camp, which roundly condemned the remarks, is keen to get back on message, pressing the case that the successful businessman understands the economy better than Obama and knows how to get the country back on track. Romney will tout a "more positive vision for America" on Thursday when he accepts the Republican Party's White House nomination, a senior aide said. "It will be a clear vision of a Romney presidency, and very much from his heart about America, and why he wants to be president," strategist Stuart Stevens told reporters. Obama will break with tradition and campaign hard through his rival's event, countering Romney's bid to grab an uninterrupted chance to make his case. Forecasts put Hurricane Isaac on a direct path to hit New Orleans overnight, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and killed 1,800 people in one of the country's worst-ever natural disasters. bur-ag/dc

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