The PJ Tatler

#GOP2012: Photoblogging Behind the Scenes at the RNC

Roger Kimball wrote up our tour of the Tampa Bay Times Forum Monday. That’s where the major speeches, songs and TV events will occur all week. Tonight, SC Gov. Nikki Haley, actress and PJM columnist Janine Turner, NJ Gov Chris Christie, and Ann Romney will be among the highlights.

But before they can deliver their addresses, a lot of work goes into setting the whole shebang up, and Roger, Roger, and I got to go backstage and around the arena while those preparations were going on. Here’s Roger talking to PJTV in the forum’s main control room.

This is the grand stage. It’s difficult to tell from photos, but all of those panels are LCD video screens that will change depending on the program content.

We watched singer Beau Davidson work with the band on a patriotic song he’ll sing this week. The stage wraps him in a video tribute to the military.

Here’s a view from just below and in front of the stage.



Behind the scenes, every speaker, singer, and performer needs a green room to relax, warm up, or just occupy a couch.

There’s more to the show than what’s shown on stage. In the arena’s underbelly, swarms of producers keep the crazy train on the rails.

Delegations will get prime space on the floor. Guess which one I’m most interested in.

After all the speechifying, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be officially nominated. Balloons will drop on the boisterous audience on the floor below. For now, all those balloons are sequestered in the space above.

It all really gets started, for real and no hurricanes allowed, tonight.