The Republican coronation of Mitt Romney wraps up Thursday night with a lineup of supportive speakers, upbeat music, glossy videos and what the party faithful hope will be a rousing acceptance speech from the former Massachusetts governor.
When the last of 100,000 balloons has dropped from the ceiling of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the GOP ticket of Romney and his second, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, will be cemented into place and primed for the final two-months-plus charge for the presidency.
Ryan, 42, was the star of Wednesday's convention, striding onstage to a boisterous welcome as he accepted the party's nomination as vice president and signaling the emergence of a more conservative, more combative generation of leaders who could reshape the Republican Party.
Now it's Romney's time to shine.
Watch for Romney to contrast his policy-wonk approach to cutting spending, taxes and deficits with what he says are petty, negative attacks from President Obama's campaign.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who addressed the convention Tuesday, told USA TODAY that Obama's message is that with four more years, things will get better. Kasich said Romney can do better.
"Romney is going to say 'What, are you kidding me? I know how to fix this. Give me a chance,' " Kasich said.
Romney hinted at the themes in a fundraising appeal e-mailed to supporters Thursday morning.
"We believe in America, even though the last four years have been full of difficulties and disappointments, doubt and despair," Romney said. "We believe in America, even though President Obama's failed policies have left us with record high unemployment, lower take-home pay, and the weakest economy since the Great Depression."
Romney also will try to shed his all-business demeanor and talk a bit about what drives him: doing the right thing for his wife, Ann, and their five sons.
And, of course, Romney will get some help from his warm-up speakers. He won't need to detail his rescue of the scandal-ridden 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, one of the highlights of his career. Three Olympic gold medalists are scheduled to speak and can handle that task.
Mike Eruzione's winning goal in the 1980 hockey game against the Soviet Union capped "The Miracle on Ice." Derek Parra won gold in the 1,500-meter speed-skating event in 2002. Kim Rhode won medals in skeet shooting in five consecutive Olympic Games.
The convention will also include a bit of Hollywood glamour. USA TODAY has confirmed the appearance of iconic actor-director Clint Eastwood. A Republican familiar with the convention schedule provided the information but requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak ahead of Eastwood's appearance.
Speakers bringing more weighty political backgrounds to the podium will include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, darling of Tea Party conservatives and once a vice presidential short-lister. Rubio's job will be to talk a bit more about Romney than some of his podium predecessors - notably New Jersey governor and keynoter Chris Christie, who waited until he was two-thirds of the way through his speech to raise the candidate's name.
Another podium-bound party favorite is Jeb Bush, who will sing Romney's praises, talk about education and throw in an ardent defense of his big brother. Jeb says he's tired of listening to President Obama slamming former president George W. Bush.
The former Florida governor told Fox News that it's "kind of my role now" to defend his brother's presidency.
"I'm going to start out with ... recognition that my brother is a person of courage and integrity and honor, and we need people like that in public life," the younger Bush said on Fox & Friends, adding that he is "biased" about the subject.
"I just feel compelled to do this because almost every day I hear the current incumbent feeling compelled to push down the past to make himself look better," Bush said. "When I was growing up, we were spanked when that happened."
Bush said his speech will be largely about education. He's scheduled to speak during the 8 p.m. ET hour, well before Romney formally accepts the GOP presidential nomination sometime after 10 p.m.
It is worth noting that, as soon as Romney finishes speaking, Tampa's 15 minutes of fame will end, and Charlotte's will begin. Democrats gather there Tuesday for their own three-day convention, which will feature speeches by Obama, Vice President Biden, former president Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the keynote speaker.