Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Keys to a successful Republican National Convention

Published: Sunday, Aug. 26 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Pignanelli: The general consensus among politicos is that the Ryan selection may not help Romney much in the polls, but it has moved the debate away from tax returns, dogs on cars, over-the-top mansions, etc. Ryan literally stepped out of a Norman Rockwell Americana painting, and Democrats will find it impossible to demonize this decent individual with personal attacks. However, the "Ryan Plan" is a different matter. Republicans were slow to embrace Ryan's earlier courageous attempts to reform federal government, allowing Democrats to define his efforts. The convention will demonstrate whether the GOP has the ability — and the desire — to package Romney's version of Ryan in a manner that is palatable to Americans. Failure to counter the Democrats messaging will leave them vulnerable to fatal blows throughout the election.

Will the Utah delegation have a meaningful role at the convention?

Webb: The Utah delegates will have a great time and be part of something quite special for Utah. Romney is, after all, an adopted son of the Beehive state. For some of us still a bit in awe over the fact that a committed Mormon could have a real shot at becoming the world's most powerful leader, the nomination of Romney is truly a historic event.

Pignanelli: The Romney campaign has allowed the Utah Olympic effort (prior to his involvement) to be described in derogatory and untrue measures. When the media interviews the Utah delegation about their adopted favorite son and how he "saved" the Olympics, our Washington delegation needs to walk a fine line of complimenting Romney for his skills without falling into the trap of disparaging the state's fine accomplishments throughout the entire process.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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