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Last updated: February 16. 2013 7:52PM - 134 Views

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney along with his running mate Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., campaign buttons are displayed ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney along with his running mate Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., campaign buttons are displayed ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(AP) Mitt Romney's Republican National Convention sputters to life with the lonely banging of a gavel in a mostly empty hall, hardly the opening splash intended for the nation.


With a sprawling and strengthening storm bearing down on the region, the GOP hastily rewrote the convention script in Tampa, Fla., to present the extravaganza's prime rituals and headline speakers later in the week Tropical Storm Isaac willing.


Nothing is certain as the storm carves an unpredictable path toward the Gulf of Mexico, forcing planners to compress four days of events into three and otherwise improvise.


It's a complication, at best, for a party determined to cast the close election as a referendum on President Barack Obama's economic stewardship and Romney as the best hope for jobs and prosperity.


Associated Press
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