Our second day in Tampa brought more security, closed roads, rainy weather, and a first hand look at the convention floor.

We left our hotel this morning, just before 11 a.m. The drive to downtown Tampa was again uneventful. What did change dramatically, however, was the amount of security we encountered when we got close. All the roads surrounding both the Tampa Bay Forum and the Tampa Convention center are now closed off for several blocks in all directions and there are various law enforcement officials and military personnel, everywhere.

Once we trekked about a mile to pick up our credentials, we had a chance to visit our workspace in the convention center. That’s where a lot of our writing and editing will take place. The room has rows upon rows of tables outfitted with internet, phone lines and Gatorade, to help us rehydrate from the scorching Florida sun.

The Forum itself is about 1/4 mile away. The RNCC has erected several tunnels, which are rumored to be air conditioned, for journalists to move between the two sites. Today, however, it seemed the power was out. In the words of our photographer, it was hot and smelled like a high school locker room.

On the other side of the sweaty tunnel stands the Tampa Bay Times Forum. That’s where our live shows and live reports will happen. Our skybox has a great view of the stage. Rehearsals were underway, and we got to see some of what the Republican Party has planned. While we were there, we also got a sneak peek at the Ron Paul tribute video that will be introduced by Dr. Paul’s son, Rand Paul. (We’ll have more of that, later tonight.)

Meanwhile, our live show location is blessedly right behind the Texas delegation seats. While it’s fantastic for us to snag live interviews, the delegation has possibly the worst seat in the house. Their chairs are in the far back right corner, just about as far away from the stage as physically possible on the floor.

Here are some of the photo’s from today:

Stay tuned, tomorrow, when we’ll have updates from Ron Paul’s rally, and more from the delegate welcome party at Tropicana Field.