Convention Gavels In and Out Quickly

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gavels in the brief opening day of the GOP convention. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — The 2012 Republican National Convention is officially open for business — despite a first-day program shrunk to less than 10 minutes and the certainty that the GOP will compete with hurricane coverage as Isaac veers away from Tampa and toward New Orleans.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus opened the convention with brief remarks, taking special aim at the fiscal "recklessness" of President Barack Obama by unveiling not one but two debt clocks. One shows the nearly $16 trillion national debt, and the other shows the debt increase merely since the start of the convention.

The late astronaut Neil Armstrong was remembered in the opening prayer, as were the nation's soldiers. Delegates then were treated to a short intro video featuring presumptive nominee Mitt Romney talking about the promise of America, including to immigrants.

The convention will officially get going again at 2 p.m. Tuesday for the roll call of states, with the evening program to start at 7 p.m. Events for the rest of the week are holding for now after being rejiggered with the cancellation of the first night's events. That cancellation has struck many as unfortunate now that Isaac has veered away from Tampa. The weather, rather than the fierce rain and wind that had been projected earlier, is merely breezy and drizzling today.