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9 weeks from today

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
September 4, 2012 1:18:22 PM PDT
My father in law lives in Tampa, so I'll walk gingerly on this line of thinking - but I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would intentionally go to Tampa in august. Sorry. I said it. I had to.

I've been in lots of humid places, including my adopted hometown for the last 20 years, New York, but I don't think I've been more uncomfortable from the weather than I was in Tampa last week. Yes, Hurricane Isaac was passing offshore, making the air thick and steamy. But I'm told it wasn't that different than normal, weather wise.

That said, the real heat was on the convention floor, where many of the delegates who earlier this year were chanting anybody-but-Romney, did their best to put on smiles and pretend that Mitt Romney's their man. The divided-party part of the convention was a heavy blanket over the gathering, adding a layer of heat that made it at times as uncomfortable as the weather outside.

Watch some of Mr. Romney's stand-out lines in his acceptance speech, the ones where he reaches out to Americans who voted for Barack Obama, the ones where he makes reference to the best you felt about Mr. Obama was the day you voted for him. Or shouldn't you feel as excited about President Obama as you did about candidate Obama? Clearly an attempt to reach beyond the base of the Republican Party, and lines that we flagged beforehand as guaranteed applause lines.

But the response was at best tepid. Why? Because Mr. Romney was talking to folks watching at home; the room heard those lines and didn't get them. They didn't vote for Mr. Obama, and I'm not sure they understood that Romney was trying to appeal to something other than the arch-conservative Republican base that was gathered in the convention hall. The ones who don't like their candidate, but who dislike his opponent even more. That's their unifying issue. Is that enough to win an election?

We'll soon find out - 9 weeks from today. One possible canary in the coalmine: There was virtually no bounce for the Repubs and Mr. Romney coming out of their Tampa convention. The former Governor now joins John Kerry and George McGovern as nominees who did not get a bounce from their convention.

Tonight at 11, we're in Charlotte, where the Democrats are gathering. They too have an uphill fight. They are unified against Mitt Romney, and why they espouse the line that the Republicans helped block some of Pres. Obama's initiatives to create jobs and level the income disparity that's getting wider in this country, many are also disappointed in his overall performance vis-?-vis the economy.

Our Lori Stokes anchors our coverage from the convention, at 11. Michelle Obama and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are two of tonight's speakers.

We've also been following the new study about organic food, and how it's not any more - or less - nutritious than the non-organic equivalents. The story is making waves because, it turns out, some people actually thought that organic spinach is more nutritious than non-organic spinach. Nope. That's not the benefit of organic. An apple is an apple. And what makes organic healthier is that there are no pesticides. That's reason enough - many people think - to buy organic. I'm just sayin' - at least for my family.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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