Of course, the biggest obstacle the GOP faced in Tampa was the national media. Relentless in their less-than-subtle digs at Romney and the Republicans, the elite media continue to ignore bad gross domestic product numbers, increases in the unemployment stats and a vice president whose crazy talk, we find out, even shocked those who directly were involved in hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden.
According to many convention-goers, there are both good and bad aspects to this year's gathering -- although almost all say the convention's leadership team has done everything possible to make it a great experience.
But there remains a bit of an odd feeling to the Romney team's orchestration of the event. Once the presiding officer of a national convention, former Speaker Newt Gingrich was relegated to teaching something called "Newt University" to convention-goers. And Herman Cain, another of Romney's primary opponents, was forced to hold a rump convention of sorts where he declared the need to elect Romney.
It really makes no sense to leave a conservative former speaker and a dynamic African-American leader out of the mix when trying to rally the party faithful, because it is the party faithful who watch this stuff.
All in all, it will come down to Romney's own performance at the convention and in the debates that will likely help decide this close race. He alone can win it. But a partly hung-over, weather-beaten and media-bruised GOP convention crowd is a tough customer in the dog days of an election summer.
Matt Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. Follow him on Twitter @matttowery. To find out more about Matt Towery and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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