Sept 1 2012

The best thing that happened about Hurricane Isaac is that it did
not hit places near Tampa, Florida, where the Republican convention
was being held. But despite being downgraded, the slow-moving storm
brought seemingly unending rain to parts of the Gulf Coast region.

Mitt Romney made his case to the nation about why this Republican
contender should be elected president, and why he thinks Democratic
President Barack Obama should be sent packing. The speech will set
the tone for Romney's campaign for the final two months.

Having seized the nomination on his second try to run for the
presidency after years spent preparing for the moment, Romney will
use his speech Thursday night to introduce himself to a large portion
of voters and claw for an advantage in a race that could scarcely be
any closer.

"We believe in America, even though the last four years have been
full of difficulties and disappointments, doubt and despair," Romney
said when tackling the economy, this election's top subject. "We
believe in America, even though President Obama's failed policies
have left us with record-high unemployment, lower take-home pay,
and the weakest economy since the Great Depression."

Romney also discussed his Mormon faith in more direct terms than
usual, a direction signaled by running mate Paul Ryan on Wednesday
night in several allusions to the duo's differing religions but
"same moral creed." Ryan, a deficit hawk who's become the party's
darling since joining the ticket, offered a prime-time testimonial
setting up Romney's turn on the stage in the Republican National
Convention's finale.

But the convention really belonged to conservatives of all sorts,
including Tea Party activists and gun owners after mass shooting at
a Colorado cinema.

"It may not be a particularly pleasant place to be for a regular
person, but most Americans are pretty conservative," commented a
Turkish resident of the capital Washington. "In addition, Romney has
pretty good chances to grab the presidency."

After the Republican gathering, all eyes will turn to President
Obama and his running mate Joe Biden at the 2012 Democratic National
Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, between Sept. 4 and 6.

Obama and Biden could be considered as foreign policy gurus if compared
to the conservative Romney-Ryan duo, but the 2012 election is mostly
about the economy. Romney could be considered not "well-established"
on foreign policy whereas Ryan is totally unclear about his foreign
policy choices, apart from his quite close ties with the congressional
pro-Armenian groups.

But Republican insiders believe Obama and Biden are "not willing to
take any risks" on Syria, no matter what happens there.

On Iran, Obama and Biden will likely look to control Israeli policies,
while Romney and Ryan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
obvious favorites in the Nov. 6 election, will wait until then.