We're joined now by Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR. Hi, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: We just heard Senator Grassley, the Republican from Iowa, say he reluctantly attend his party's political convention because he has a sense of obligation, which raises the question: what is the point of these conventions anyway? Do you think people still pay attention to them?
After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.
Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.
While some 70,000 visitors are expected for the Republican National Convention, it's not the only big event heading towards Tampa. On Tuesday, another important visitor could be on the way, though perhaps not directly through Tampa - Tropical Storm Isaac. As of now, Isaac is still in the Caribbean. But as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Tampa, it's likely to be a hurricane when it passes near the city later in the week.
Mitt Romney, 65, has spent the better part of a decade running for president. And as the son of a Michigan governor who headed a Detroit auto company, he's been in the public eye much longer.
Yet the former Massachusetts governor has remained an enigma to many voters, his political positions malleable, and much of his business and private life — including his Mormon religion — intentionally obscured.
Or simply declared off limits, like years of his tax returns.