Photos by Ryan Thompson; Reporting by Ryan Thompson and Maggie Seppi
Tropical Storm Isaac may have abbreviated Monday’s events at the Republican National Convention, but preparations for the four-day event in Tampa, Fla., endure.
Inside the Tampa Convention Center, three floors worth of media rooms fill the building — from Time to Twitter, from the Tampa Bay Times to the Washington Post.
An enclosed walkway leads to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, in which politicians, delegates and the media will congregate.
Angela Gard, the CEO of Tampa’s Couture that Rox, serves as the merchandising manager of the GOP Shoppe.
The shop, located inside the forum, will sell apparel, buttons and other products related to the Republican Party, the Romney-Ryan ticket and the 2012 convention itself, Gard said.
She said all revenue goes back to the host committee in Tampa and to the Romney campaign.
A registered Republican, Gard said she’s supportive of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
But Gard won’t be the only one working inside a vendor in the forum this week.
Karla Soloman, a cashier at Mr. Empanada, will be sell food and drinks instead of GOP iconography.
Soloman said during the convention, she and her co-workers will get to the forum around 5:30 a.m. and clock in at 7. They’ll work until midnight and keep that schedule for the convention’s duration.
"The more, the better" when it comes to Mr. Empanada customers for the convention, Soloman said.