Romney clinches nomination on Day 1 of the RNC

For the Illinois delegates the first day of the GOP convention started with a splash and ended with applause inside the Tampa Convention Center.  There, Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination, a great way for the GOP to finally kick off their week.

Dan Peterson from Glenview is in Florida  attending  his first ever convention. Fred Bucholz of Wheaton says he excited and concerned. He is worried about his kids' futures. Will they have one as bright as his was when he was growing up?  He wants Mitt Romney to make sure of it.

Earlier in the day, all the delegates got a surprise over breakfast with their bagel and coffee in Clearwater when protestors claiming to be the 99% stormed the stage.  They chanted, wanting to see the minimum wage raised. And they said they came from all over the country to tell the GOP.   There were no arrests and minimal disruption.

Then it was back to business with former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert at the podium followed by a heartfelt video message from a recovering Senator Mark Kirk. The edited clip of Kirk prompted a standing ovation.

35 miles away in what turned out to be a sunny Tampa, security measures were tight. 8 foot high fences surrounded the convention center while law enforcement and secret service scrutinized every bag, every person and every scene, even out on the streets.

Ron Paul protestors demonstrated on virtually every corner.

But by Tuesday night, there was a peacefulness outside the convention as delegates indoors tend to the Republican message they want heard round the world.

Some big names are expected to visit the Illinois delegation this week: John Boehner and John Sununu. They are acknowledging the importance of Illinois when it comes to the bigger picture in Washington this election year.

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