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Speakers At The Republican Convention


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

MITT ROMNEY: ...climb the ladder, but success is when you build people up.

CORNISH: Mitt Romney was officially named the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee this afternoon in Tampa. Delayed for one day because of Hurricane Isaac, the nomination came at the end of a six-year quest by Romney. A full line up of speakers will address the convention this evening, extolling Governor Romney's virtues and calling President Obama's failings.

NPR's Don Gonyea is on the floor of the convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and he joins us with the preview of what to come. Welcome, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Hi, Audie. A noisy floor. The video screens are showing one of several pre-produced things that the RNC has put together. You can hear the crowd reacting to it now.

CORNISH: So one of the big features of tonight is a speech by Ann Romney. And what will you be watching for with that speech?

GONYEA: This is a really important speech. I mean, one of the goals of this convention is to flesh out to the American people who Mitt Romney is. They've heard so much about his business background and alike, and they know he has a large family. But his wife will really try to talk about him in a personal way.

They have released some excerpts. We know that she will talk about the storybook marriage that a lot of people have described them as having. And then she'll say, well, in storybooks that were never long, long rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And then she'll go on to say, and in those storybooks, they never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer - of course, two things that the family has dealt with. So we will see and hear about a side of Mitt Romney that has not really come to the floor yet during the campaign. It's a very important speech.

CORNISH: Now, earlier today, it was New Jersey's 50 delegates that put Mitt Romney over the top for the nomination. A nod to the evening's keynote speaker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, no doubt. What's his role tonight?

GONYEA: He is the keynoter, and his job, you know, traditionally, when Chris Christie speaks to a big room, he blows the roof off the place. He is a very energetic, very forceful, very blunt, very kind of down-to-earth kind of speaker. Now, we're hearing that he may tone it down a bit tonight, because we do have Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf. It's made landfall in Louisiana. So we'll see what we get from Chris Christie.

CORNISH: And then Hurricane Isaac, as you said, hitting the Gulf - is it affecting things in the hall?

GONYEA: It seems to have not at all. I mean, the speeches have gone on. It's a bit of a compressed schedule today because they canceled yesterday as a precautionary measure. But things are moving along pretty quickly. We had the roll call of the states that brought the nomination. And now, things are moving toward the big speeches of the night.

CORNISH: Thank you so much, Don Gonyea.

GONYEA: Thank you.

CORNISH: NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea joining us from the Republican National Convention. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.