Convention Watch: Looking back to Reagan, Bush

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

At a thank-you luncheon Wednesday for campaign supporters, Ann Romney enthused that the convention has given her a chance to "see so many people you've known" over time.

"It's like going to your own funeral," she joked.

Maybe not the best metaphor.

— Nancy Benac — Twitter http://twitter.com/nbenac


On his big speech day, Mitt Romney spent the morning visiting with family — family in the triple digits.

"About 120 of our family gathered," Romney told campaign donors gathered in a banquet hall in St. Petersburg. "And it's amazing how the families come together in times like this. We got our pictures taken with some members we hadn't seen in a long time. It was heartwarming."

— Nancy Benac — Twitter http://twitter.com/nbenac


Mitt Romney's convention planners transformed part of the Forum overnight, getting ready for the big finale — the presidential nominee's speech to the nation.

They extended the stage about 12 feet out into the crowd and surrounded the bottom of the steps with a see-through barrier. They're still drilling and working on it, and the podium is gone at the moment. A bunch of people are testing the stability of the new stage now. Currently, the center seats are gone, but there's still a space where they haven't put down new carpeting and it looks like the seats will go there.

— Julie Mazziotta — Twitter http://twitter.com/julietmazz


Former President George W. Bush may be a ghostly presence at the Republican National Convention, but his brother expects him to get top billing, of sorts, next week.

"He'll be more at the Charlotte convention," joked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on "CBS This Morning." He was referring to the Democratic National Convention that begins Tuesday and is likely to feature lots of George Bush-bashing.

Jeb Bush acknowledges that his brother has been a target because voters blame him for the nation's economic problems. The former president has held no place of honor at the GOP convention other than a video tribute.

That doesn't mean he isn't tuning in to the convention.

"I think he's watching it, and I know he's interested in it," Jeb Bush said. "He's curious about this country. But his attitude is, 'Look, I had a chance, I served, I did my best. It's Mitt Romney's night. It's his turn.'"

— Hope Yen

EDITOR'S NOTE — Follow AP journalists on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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