CONVENTION WATCH: Storm gathers, and delegates too

Associated Press
A Secret Service agent stand on the stage after an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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A Secret Service agent stand on the stage after an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention …

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Around the 2012 Republican National Convention and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details to you:

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SAY IT IN SONG

Why say it when you can sing it?

Most speeches at this week's Republican National Convention are set to a particular theme for the day. "We Built It," is Tuesday's mantra, a poke at Obama's "You didn't build that line" at a July campaign event.

A convention entertainer will sing about it. Guitarist Lane Turner rehearsed his tune "I Built It" in a sparsely filled convention hall Monday.

"I built it with my own two working hands," goes the chorus. "Yeah I built it. No help from Uncle Sam."

Obama's campaign argues that his words, meant to stress the value of government in fostering infrastructure, were taken out of context.

— Brian Bakst — Twitter http://twitter.com/Stowydad

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VOIGHT ON OBAMA

The Virginia delegation served up some celebrity with its political breakfast Monday.

Jon Voight, the Academy Award-winning actor better known to today's moviegoers as the father of Angelina Jolie, joined Tagg Romney, son of the presidential candidate, to talk government spending, media coverage and President Barack Obama's record at the delegation's morning session.

Delegate Erin Smith of Leesburg, Va. , says Voight complained that the media wasn't providing balanced coverage of the two candidates. She says Voight also argued that Obama campaigned on several issues, but he has acted differently in office.

— Donna Cassata — http://twitter.com/donnacassataAP

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TEMPEST IN A TOTE BAG?

Maybe Mitt Romney assumes GOP delegates won't read all the way to page 177 of his book, "No Apology," included in their gift bags.

If they do, they'll find an uncomfortable sentence for Romney — a sentence dropped from the paperback edition. It alludes to his push, as Massachusetts governor, to require all residents to obtain insurance as part of health care reforms.

"We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care," Romney wrote. That sounds a lot like the health care mandate in "Obamacare," which Romney now vows to undo.

In the paperback edition, the passage refers only to preventing a government takeover of health care. Publications including the Washington Examiner took note of the hardback's presence.

Of course, hardbacks make nicer gifts. And the swag bags don't include much else — mints and sunglasses, mainly.

— Charles Babington — Twitter http://twitter.com/cbabington

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A CAREFUL TONE

"You can tone down the happy-days-are-here-again a bit. Maybe you don't have the biggest balloon drop in history." — Rich Galen, veteran Republican consultant in Washington, discussing how to strike an appropriate tone at a convention that unfolds against the backdrop of a major storm.

— Thomas Beaumont — Twitter http://twitter.com/tombeaumont

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5 GUYS, 5 WORDS

The five Romney sons got one word each to describe Dad during a Fox News Channel interview. What they came up with:

Craig: "Qualified."

Ben: "Frugal."

Josh: "Cheap."

Matt: "Integrity."

Tagg: "Generous."

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

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HURRICANE GOP?

Dorothy Crockett says she wasn't about to let Isaac, the tropical storm gaining hurricane strength, keep her from a minute of the Republican National Convention.

The Arkansas spitfire — decked out in red, white and blue from her jacket to her earrings — was among a couple hundred delegates who showed up for the abbreviated opening Monday despite the cancellation of the speaking schedule.

"At my age I have never experienced a hurricane," the 77-year-old from northeast Arkansas says. "The only hurricane I want to experience is the Republicans taking over the House, the Senate and the White House. This is the Republican hurricane."

— Brian Bakst — Twitter http://twitter.com/Stowydad

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CHOICE SEATING

Mitt Romney's adopted state of Massachusetts is rewarded at the Republican National Convention with prime seating — just feet from where he'll accept the nomination this week. It's a rare honor for Massachusetts, a Democratic bastion used to being relegated to the back of the hall.

Kerry Healy, who served as lieutenant governor under Romney, is at the front of the front next to others who helped his rise. It reflects, Healy says, "a new thing for Massachusetts to have a Republican nominee for president. We have had plenty of the other kind."

Also in choice seats: delegates from battleground states of Virginia and Ohio as well as Romney's birth state of Michigan and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

— Brian Bakst — Twitter http://twitter.com/Stowydad

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

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