Thursday August 30, 2012 | 11:01 AM

National political conventions are all about the visuals, from the entirely pre-scripted proceedings on the convention floor to the outfits and outlandish hats that delegates wear. Here are a few photos taken over the past few days by Kevin Miller, Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald/MaineToday Media, who has been in Tampa covering Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention.

Bryan Daugherty, a Maine delegate from Bangor and a Ron Paul supporter, is interviewed by CNN's Dana Bash on the floor of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.

The view from Maine’s section of the floor at the Republican National Convention during the opening prayer prior to one evening’s activities.

The Romney-Ryan store at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is constantly packed with convention-goers, who can pick up everything from t-shirts and mugs to beach towels and “Mitt” earrings.

Members of Texas’ delegation to the convention who support Ron Paul made these t-shirts displaying the states – including Maine – where there was some dispute about how many delegates to seat for Paul versus the eventual presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. The shirts were instantly popular with Maine’s Paul supporters in Tampa.

Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman who ran for president, greets several supporters within Maine’s delegation (in white hats) during a visit to the convention floor on Tuesday.

The sign on the convention floor marking Maine’s section. Although not exactly close to the podium, there weren’t many bad seats on the floor.

Members of Texas’ delegation are never tough to spot around the convention hall, between their white cowboy hats and uniform shirts (on this day, a Lone Star State flag shirt). They also tended to act in unison, like during this performance by one of the many bands that played during the evening floor sessions.

Pete “The Carpenter” Harring, a displaced Maine delegate who supports Ron Paul, shows off his tailor-made clothespin intended to his displeasure with the Republican National Committee’s handling of Maine’s Paul delegates. The clothespins were supplied by delegate and Paul supporter Linda Bean, the heiress of L. L. Bean and owner of a growing lobster processing and lobster-themed restaurant chain.

Maine delegate and Ron Paul supporter Bryan Daugherty of Bangor shows off his “Maine 2012” Paul hat, autographed by the Texas congressman and unsuccessful presidential candidate.

Convention attendees walk through a long, tented and (thankfully) air-conditioned tunnel that connects the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the nearby convention hall. Access to the forum was extremely restricted, requiring the thousands of attendees to pass through a few security checkpoint.

Members of Texas’ delegation sympathetic to Maine’s Ron Paul supporters made these stickers, as seen here on a Texan’s cowboy hat.

CNN had it’s own restaurant for staff and visitors where anchors and commentators talked live while others eat and drank in the background.

The view of the convention floor from the Portland Press Herald's assigned seat within the Tampa Bay Times Forum. An estimated 15,000 journalists and media support crews are in Tampa this week to cover the convention.

About the Author

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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