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For a convention of Democrats, there sure are a lot of Republicans flocking to Denver. The GOP has set up an office about a mile from the convention. Republicans are calling it their DNC Rapid Response Headquarters. NPR's Jeff Brady reports on the message that they're trying to send.
JEFF BRADY: This is not your typical war room. Instead of a suburban office park, it's in a converted warehouse that could be mistaken for a high-tech startup. Most of the people running around are under 30, and then there's the Web site, notready08, with twitter-feeds, blog posts and the party's snarky slogan for the Democratic convention, a mile high and an inch deep.
But the basic messages are still the same. All week, they've been delivered by some of the GOP's heavy hitters. Today, it was Rudolph Giuliani.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI: Senator Obama, I think the case can be made very strongly from the words of Democrats, is just not ready to lead. Hillary Clinton said that during the campaign, directly.
BRADY: And sowing seeds of discontent among Clinton supporters has been a primary goal of the Republican's DNC campaign. Here's Florida Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, commenting on Barack Obama's choice for vice president.
LINCOLN DIAZ BALART: And to see then someone with 50 percent of the votes in the Democratic primaries not chosen and apparently not even vetted by Mr. Obama really was, to me, more than surprising. It was shocking. Our party is united. I'm not so sure the Democrats are united.
BRADY: The GOP campaign also has included TV ads featuring some of Hillary Clinton's criticism of Barack Obama during the primary. Very few of those ads actually run as commercials on your TV. Instead, the campaign relies on reporters to air them over and over, and they do.
That's because Republicans use high-profile people who reporters can't ignore, like Giuliani today and Mitt Romney yesterday. The party also strategically puts out their ads in press releases a few hours before the Democratic Convention gets underway. That's when reporters are hungry for new news.
While Republicans have had success enticing reporters, the same cannot be said for Democratic delegates. On the floor of the Democratic convention before Hillary Clinton's speech last night, there wasn't a delegate to be found who said the campaign has changed their mind. Some predicted it will backfire on the Republicans. Patty McGuire is from Oregon.
PATTY MCGUIRE: You know, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were taking shots at John McCain, and you know, I certainly wouldn't recommend to the Obama campaign that they spend any money putting Mitt Romney's comments about John McCain on the air because I just don't think it works.
BRADY: While delegates waited for Clinton to speak, Anne Price-Mills from Washington state could barely contain herself.
ANNE PRICE: I am ballistically, ballistically excited to see her.
BRADY: Price-Mills says Obama is going to have to work pretty hard for her to get anywhere near that excited about him, but she says that's all about what Obama says, not what Republicans say.
PRICE: Is it effective and brought me over to the McCain camp? No, I will not be voting for McCain, but I will just say this. The question of experience is a legitimate question.
BRADY: While such skepticism still won't sway Price-Mills, it might change the minds of a few swing voters, and that brings us to what likely is the ultimate focus of the Republican war room in Denver, to counter what essentially is a week-long commercial for Democrats. If they're able to prompt a discussion about a Republican talking point on a cable channel that preempts a speaker at the Democratic Convention, well, that could be considered a success.
Jeff Brady, NPR News, Denver.
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