5 things to watch today at GOP convention

9:24 AM, Aug 28, 2012   |    comments
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives a thumbs up as he leaves Brewster Academy after finishing convention preparations for the day on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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TAMPA, FL (USA TODAY) -- Lights, camera, action: The Republican National Convention officially begins today at 2 p.m. ET inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

USA TODAY is providing full coverage throughout the three-day event, which wraps up Thursday when Mitt Romney accepts his party's presidential nomination. Check your local TV listings for more coverage.

Here is our guide to the five things to watch on Tuesday, Aug. 28:

1) Ann Romney will speak during the 10 p.m. ET hour of programming. Her remarks are aimed at showing the delegates -- and millions of TV viewers -- a softer side of her husband.

2) Romney will be followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will deliver the keynote address. Christie, a populist favorite who ignored pleas to run for president this year, told USA TODAY that he plans to "tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in."

3) The traditional roll call of the states formally nominating Romney for president will be conducted in the afternoon and end in time for the evening newscasts. No surprise here, but it's a piece of business that's a staple of political conventions.

4) Rick Santorum emerged as the conservative alternative to Romney during the GOP primaries. He fell short, but the ex-Pennsylvania senator gets to tell his story about being the son of immigrants and the fight in Congress during the mid-1990s to overhaul welfare.

5) Four years ago, Alabama congressman Artur Davis was in Denver nominating Barack Obama for president. Now, Davis is a Republican supporting Romney, and he's got some strong things to say about the Democratic Party he left behind.

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