TAMPA, Fla. -- This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."

One of the chief complaints from voters about politicians is that they too often package themselves disingenuously to get elected, only to reveal their real agenda after they've won. That is what President Obama did in the 2008 campaign when he styled himself as a unifier who wanted to bridge the partisan divide by saying, "...we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America." He then governed more like he was in Soviet America with redistribution of income and more centralized power in Washington.



TAMPA, Florida | FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said Tuesday that the success of the Tea Party has the media in a bit of a panic.

Speaking with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Kibbe also said press attacks on the Tea Party will probably end “the day after the election” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):



How painfully predictable: The New York Times filled the news gap caused by the cancellation of Monday's events with rumors of party discord. In fact, the Times first tried to gin up controversy at the 2012 Republican National Convention long ago. Here's a May 13, 2010 report from Damien Cave on how toxic beaches in Tampa might ruin the Republican convention, then over two years away:

The wrong mix of poverty juxtaposed with Republicans partying - perhaps against a backdrop of oil-stained beaches – could give Democrats just what they need to portray their opponents as woefully disconnected from the middle class."



TAMPA, Florida | American Values president Gary Bauer said Tuesday, "I have never seen a media so deeply in the tank for the left and for the Democratic Party and for Barack Obama. Never."

Speaking with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Bauer added, "They don’t even try to look like they’re unbiased anymore...They look like they’re a division of the Democratic National Committee" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):



In a Tuesday 10 a.m. et NBC News special report on President Obama declaring a state of emergency for Gulf Coast states in the path of Hurricane Isaac, Today co-host Matt Lauer gushed: "Politics 101, you've got your opponents in Tampa and Mitt Romney's about to tell Americans why he should be elected president, if you're the president, you go out and act like the president." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Meet the Press host David Gregory agreed: "Yeah, you do your job." As they both anchored the coverage from the Republican National Convention, Gregory observed that Obama's statement "...happens as there's so much anxiety here among the campaign and the party organizers about how to approach this and the optics of a split-screen, storm coming and a big political party." After the President spoke about the impending storm, Gregory added: "Again, it only underscores how difficult it is for a Republican Party to move forward with this convention, with that potential threat."



Noting that President Obama is not taking a break from campaigning, despite Hurricane Isaac's imminent landfall, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted this morning that the media should "stop all this nonsense about whether or not the Republicans should hold their convention tonight."

President Obama "isn't canceling his campaign. He's continuing to politick, because, guess what, what he's doing has no effect, good or bad, on what's going to happen to those folks along the Gulf Coast," Wallace told America's Newsroom host Martha McCallum. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]



When the New York Times sends reporters to compare and contrast the Romney and Obama campaign styles, little surprise who comes off looking best. The banner headline on the front of Monday's special Campaign 2012 section set the scene: "Two Campaigns With Styles as Similar as Red and Blue."

Ashley Parker and Michael Barbaro trailed the Republica candidate in Iowa and found that while "Earnest and Efficient, Romney Spares the Subtlety." (Because electoral campaigns are typically known for subtlety.)



Liberal Daily Beast writer Michael Tomaksy has already labeled this year's Republican National Convention as "reprehensible."  In his insufferable knowingness, Tomasky claimed that the next few days will be a "toxic waste dump of hate and lies and race-baiting."  In other words, it will be the most racist gathering of party delegates in the history of the republic.  Why? Because The New York Times said so, of course:

Tom Edsall said it without quite saying it this morning in the Times, that this Romney-Ryan campaign is becoming among the most racist we've ever seen. The two key lies so far are totally about race--that Obama is soft on welfare recipients, and that he's "robbing" $716 billion from Medicare (77 percent of recipients are white) to "pay for Obamacare" (that is, to extend health care to black and brown people who don't deserve it, havent earned it, etc.). 



Conservative blog readers are aware of the Chris Matthews/Reince Priebus contretemps on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where Matthews shouted down Priebus with accusations of GOPers playing the “race card” (among other things).

An abbreviated video clip is below (the full segment was so awful that you could sense the other guests cringing). Someone has to do it, so I’ll start:



In an interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was aghast at an off-the-cuff joke by Mitt Romney on Friday: "...he said, 'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate,' an obvious reference to the birther debate. Is it – he says it was a joke. Is it funny to kind of pay attention to a fringe group and question the very legitimacy of the President of the United States's citizenship?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Christie replied: "Yeah, but he hasn't. I mean, he has been the clearest, the most affirmative of all the Republican candidates who are running for this nomination, in saying that he didn't think that was an issue." Lauer ignored the fact that President Obama himself has joked about his birth certificate on more than one occasion and that the Obama campaign actually raised money off the issue, selling mugs and t-shirts mocking the conspiracy theory.

Christie also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Tuesday, no one asked him about the comment.



On Monday night, Politico posted two stories with the same theme: Tropical Storm Isaac seriously threatens to ruin the Republican convention and remind voters of Republican incompetence during hurricanes. Does anyone think this outfit is fair and balanced?

In the story “GOP fears ghost of Hurricane Katrina at RNC 2012,” Politico's Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman just keep skipping over the Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic governor of Louisiana as they predict the most damaging political scenario they can hope for, er, imagine as the storm spared the GOP convention site in Tampa:



For the second straight night, NBC Nightly News on Monday played the Hurricane Katrina card against Republicans, as Tropical Storm Isaac veered away from Tampa and took aim at New Orleans. Andrea Mitchell hyped that "both Republicans and Democrats...have a challenge - a political challenge here with this approaching storm, especially for the Republicans. No one here can easily forget the iconic picture of President Bush flying on Air Force One...looking down at New Orleans during Katrina." [audio available here; video below the jump]

Anchor Brian Williams also played up how the Romney family has been "forced to talk about their rightfully gained enormous wealth - having been successful in business, the garage for their cars at their home in La Jolla, California."