Postponed because of complications from Tropical Storm Isaac, the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) was festive and productive, with Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney officially nominated as the GOP presidential candidate.
Shortly before 6 p.m., it was announced that Romney had received the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the party nomination, but support for the Romney-Ryan campaign had begun earlier with the days first speakers.
We have a message for America: Elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and they will get this country working again, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republication National Committee, said as he opened the convention. With Mitt Romneys experience and Paul Ryans expertise, we can expect great things from a Romney-Ryan administration.
The convention officially opened with a Hebrew prayer, followed by entertainment and festivities.
Though the official nomination could be considered a formality, it was still met with excitement.
I was ecstatic, Ralph Delia, president of the Bulls for Romney organization at USF, said. Im ecstatic at the direction the party is taking and Im looking forward to afight and hopefully a Romney win in November.
But the nomination didnt sit well with all many Paul supporters and delegates who rallied at the Sun Dome on Sunday walked out of the Tampa Bay Times Forum after convention officials decided to stop calling the names of Paul delegates during roll call.
Paul took a surprise round of the convention floor earlier in the day, minutes before the convention started, much to the fervor of his supporters, who swarmed around him, chanting, President Paul and Let him speak.
Centered on the theme of We Built It, the convention included many high-profile first-day speakers, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former Sen. Rick Santorum and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
A victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket is not only a victory for the Republican Party, but a victory for America, Priebus said.
But for Delia, Romneys mes- sage on issues, especially on the economy, is especially appealing to college students.
When people hear the real issues, I think it will really resonate with voters, Delia said. What Mitt Romneys vision for the future means for us, as soon-to-be college graduates, is a job and a well- paying job at that.
Various speakers spoke about problems they saw with Barack Obamas presidency.
The danger for America is already here in the form of the Democratic leaders in Washington, Sharon Day, committee co-chair, said. We know the problem: Their names are Obama, Biden,Reid, Pelosi and Holder. What they have done and will continue to do, should Obama be re-elected, runs contrary to the values we believe in and the principles we stand for.
The national debt has been a strong focus, after the installation of two national debt clocks on Monday. One clock counts total national debt, and the second tracks the increase during the actual convention.
Key Democrats, including Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley gathered in a room mere steps away from the Convention Center.
Tonight youre going to see Chris Christie, a governor who has the fourth-worst unemployment rate of any state in the nation, deliver his angry Don Rickles keynote extolling the virtues of their candidate, Gov. Romney, who had one of the worst rates of job creation, OMalley said.
Delia said he is confident that Romney can convince the American people that his ticket is the answer to the countrys economic problems, and he hopes that Bulls for Romney can help spread his message.
Hopefully Bulls for Romney can win some votes here on cam- pus, Delia said. I look forward to talking to voters and recruiting students. Ive been a Romney supporter since 2007, so Im ecstatic.