It won’t be easy to get there from where we are today, but next week’s GOP convention in Tampa is supposed to be about the economy. It certainly isn’t supposed to be about what’s in the current headlines. And hopefully the recent distraction (the Akin debacle) will have faded by then. 

The convention kicks off Monday with the theme “We Can Do Better.” Speakers, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Senate Republican candidate Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Ann Romney, will highlight the Republican vision for a “brighter, better future.”

Tuesday’s theme is “We Built It,” speakers, including former former Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Bob McDonnell (Va.), will continue to push back on Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment, emphasizing American entrepreneurship.  N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will also deliver the convention keynote address. 

“We Can Change It,” the Wednesday message, will focus on the differences between Obama’s policies and Republican plans, with remarks by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Condoleezza Rice and VP contender Rep. Paul Ryan, among others. 

The convention concludes on Thursday, with speeches by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Mitt Romney, with the overarching theme “We Believe in America.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has noted that the overall convention program will speak to Republican plans to address high unemployment, massive debt, the security and economic imperative of energy independence, and plans to strengthen the middle class and small businesses. 

The challenge will be to make the convention go according to plan, given the tendency to make mistakes and supply the distractions that Obama and Democrats need.

P.S. — I’m writing today from Athens, Greece, home of democracy.  My unscientific, anecdotal observation is that the Greeks know they’re in trouble, and they plan on paying their bills.  There is a better sense of reality and a more realistic acceptance of  shared sacrifice than I had expected.