Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table

151022593 Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table
Mitt Romney on stage at the RNC. (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — It’s fitting that one of the most enduring images of the 2012 Republican National Convention was Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, since the main purpose of the confab was crowning Mitt Romney as the titular leader of the party, finally filling the seat of GOP power that has remained more or less vacant since John McCain was vanquished by President Barack Obama four years ago.

As the saying goes, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. After his defeat in 2008, Mr. McCain didn’t even bother joining the primary combatants vying to lead the elephant herd into battle against President Obama in this year’s race. His second, Sarah Palin, didn’t have a place in the primaries or at the convention in Tampa. Instead, she was banished to her Facebook page, where she railed against her overlords at Fox News for canceling all of her scheduled appearances, in which she’d hoped to take to the airwaves in praise of Mr. McCain on the night of his RNC cameo.

Like any coronation, last week’s convention was supposed to be a time for Mr. Romney’s fellow Republicans to rally around him and march into combat by his side. However, the ascent of the House of Romney was accomplished without the blessing of the conservative and libertarian factions of the party. As a result, Tampa became a theater for the sorts of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and power plays that so often accompany these matters of dynastic succession. Though ostensibly acting as standard bearers for Mr. Romney, the other lords of the GOP seemed to be more interested in plotting their own ascendancies four years from now than in following Mitt into battle against President Obama. Continue reading “Watch the Throne: While Eastwood Talks to an Empty Chair, the Lords of the GOP Angle for a Seat at the Table”

Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romney’s RNC Speech

151020397 Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romneys RNC Speech
Mitt Romney on stage at the RNC (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — Mitt Romney is currently on stage at the Republican National Convention. During his speech, a group of protesters attempted to interrupt the proceedings by shouting from the seats above the convention floor. Audience members drowned them out with chants of, “USA! USA! USA!”

Politicker was unable to hear the protesters from our spot on the convention floor, but, according to journalist Andrew Coyne, they were waving pink banners and shouting, “People over profits!” The protesters were quickly removed by security personnel. Dan Libit of the Daily said the protesters were affiliated with the activist group Code Pink, which staged a similar interruption during Paul Ryan’s speech yesterday. Continue reading “Protesters Briefly Interrupt Mitt Romney’s RNC Speech”

Obama Campaign Says GOP Staffer Tried to ‘Crash’ Their RNC Office

 Obama Campaign Says GOP Staffer Tried to Crash Their RNC Office
Lis Smith and Tim Miller in Tampa. (Photo:

TAMPA, FL — Along with all the red staters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, there are several Obama For America staffers who are monitoring the events from an office they’re calling the “Romney Economics: Wrong for the Middle Class War Room” and one Republican National Committee staffer has repeatedly attempted to get behind enemy lines and into the Obama campaign’s convention outpost. This morning, Obama For America Director of Rapid Response Lis Smith tweeted that Tim Miller, the digitally savvy deputy communications director of the Republican National Committee had tried and failed to infiltrate the Democrats’ convention war room.

@Timodc’s attempts to crash our office have been even less successful than @MittRomney’s reinvention convention. Not an easy feat,” Ms. Smith wrote, referring to Mr. Miller by his Twitter handle.  Continue reading “Obama Campaign Says GOP Staffer Tried to ‘Crash’ Their RNC Office”

Rick Perry Might Be Armed and Dangerous at the RNC

98571106 Rick Perry Might Be Armed and Dangerous at the RNC
Rick Perry firing a six shooter at a promotional event in 2010. (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — Former presidential candidate and Governor of Texas Rick Perry is quite possibly carrying a weapon on the streets of Tampa as he attends the Republican National Convention. We spotted Mr. Perry a few moments ago walking into the CNN Grill, which the cable network set up to provide politicians and journalists a place to mingle and unwind during the RNC festivities. Since he has a well-documented “long love affair” with firearms Politicker asked Mr. Perry whether he was “packing” at the RNC.

“You never know, that’s why they call it a concealed weapon,” Mr. Perry said with a chuckle and a pat on his hip as he made his way into the Grill. Continue reading “Rick Perry Might Be Armed and Dangerous at the RNC”

Paul Ryan’s ‘Extreme Home Fitness’ Routine Makes an Appearance at the RNC

photo 7 Paul Ryans Extreme Home Fitness Routine Makes an Appearance at the RNC
Ron Dubsky preaching the gospel of P90X outside the RNC.

TAMPA, FL — Paul Ryan is a devotee of the “extreme home fitness” routine P90X and at least one personal trainer is hoping other attendees at the Republican National Convention will follow his example. Politicker spotted P90X coach Rob Dubsky standing on the street just outside the RNC security perimeter this afternoon wearing a shirt that said “Bring It” and waving a sign encouraging convention-goers to “FOLLOW YOUR LEADER” featuring his web address: “

“This is my first day out here,” Mr. Dubsky said. “A lot of the police, the military here seem to relate with me.” Continue reading “Paul Ryan’s ‘Extreme Home Fitness’ Routine Makes an Appearance at the RNC”

Newt Gingrich Has Joined With the ‘Elite Media’ He Once Hated

newt gingrich getty Newt Gingrich Has Joined With the Elite Media He Once Hated
Newt Gingrich (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — Newt Gingrich, who regularly sparred with what he described as the “elite media” during the Republican primaries, is now working with The Washington Post Company.

At this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Mr. Gingrich is debuting “Newt University,” a series of academic-style classes he’s conducting at a Hyatt hotel near the RNC festivities. Newt University is being “presented by the Republican National Committee,” which has paid KAPx, a division of the educational company Kaplan to run the courses. As noted on the Newt University website, Kaplan is “the largest subsidiary of The Washington Post Company” and is wholly owned by the media company.  Continue reading “Newt Gingrich Has Joined With the ‘Elite Media’ He Once Hated”

RNC Gets Off to a Stormy Start in Tampa

150834625 RNC Gets Off to a Stormy Start in Tampa
An umbrella wielding protester walking behind a phalanx of Tampa police officers on the streets outside the RNC site. (Photo: Getty)

TAMPA, FL — To hear the horde of reporters that have descended on Tampa tell it, the Republican National Convention is a treacherous landscape with the threat of a massive hurricane, machete wielding anarchists, roving bands of Scientologists, nymphomaniac strippers and death metal. The political press corps, in their endless search for intriguing narratives, is often prone to exaggeration and groupthink, but since American Airlines waylaid your humble Politicker correspondent for nearly eighteen hours, thus far, we have only been able to get a sense of the reality inside the RNC security perimeter through leadup coverage and dispatches from other reporters warning of a potentially chaotic powder keg of protests and severe weather that left us wondering just how bad of a situation the GOP has gotten us all into out here.  Continue reading “RNC Gets Off to a Stormy Start in Tampa”