(TIME) – 7:14 p.m. The hurricane couldn't stop it. The weak economy didn't underfund it. The orange-bottomed girls at the Hooter's down the street won't distract from it. Day one of the 2012 Republican Convention has arrived, with House Speaker John Boehner walking on stage to fire the prime time starting gun. "We begin tonight with a fundamental question: Can we do better?" he calls out. Crickets from the crowd. They aren't really paying attention yet. Still shuffling to their seats. But Boehner looks good up there, his tanned skin neatly matching the stained wood of the stage.