The images the Republican National Committee wants you to see…

Anthony Moretti, RMU Journalism Professor

…and the images it doesn’t.

As the 2012 Republican National Convention formally got underway on Tuesday, the contrast between the Republican effort to project a “we are a happy family” and the thorn that is Ron Paul and his supporters could not be ignored.

Mind you, the number of delegates Mitt Romney won swamped those that went to Rep. Paul. Nevertheless, the Paul delegates refused to give up the fight; they believed that no amount of — dare I say — putting lipstick on a pig could cover up a Republican Party that continues to fail in addressing America’s real problems. (Yes, they feel the same way about the Democrats.)

Consider that as the roll call of states took place late Tuesday afternoon, the number of delegates won by Rep. Paul was never announced. It was as if he never existed and his delegates were invisible.

Call it what you want — petty, childish, ridiculous — but it symbolizes powerfully that the GOP leadership views Paul’s supporters as flies to be swatted. However, much like a fly will do, the buzz and annoyance will not easily go away.

Outside the convention center, a group of Paul supporters gathered to express their frustration and outlined some of their beliefs and their candidate’s core beliefs.

The image of a playing-tough Republican leadership, regardless of whether Mr. Romney played any role in the snubbing of Rep. Paul, poses a problem for the GOP nominee. A Hofstra University political science professor says Romney as a good guy is a critical theme the campaign needs to deliver during the convention.

The attention afforded Ron Paul on Tuesday likely will disappear as the focus turns to the speeches delivered by Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan (on Wednesday) and Romney (on Thursday). However, the buzz won’t go away.