Bobby On The Loose!


Why we have conventions.
August 27, 2008, 4:07 am
Filed under: Republican National Convention

Today Jo Ann Davidson, the Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke to us about the importance of conventions for political parties.  Despite the media’s portrayal of a National Convention as simply being a huge celebration (I even commented tonight that the DNC seemed to be like the Academy Awards), there is a lot of behind the scenes work that happens that essentially helps clearly define what a particular party stands for.  For example, one of the most important tasks of a convention is setting and adopting the rules and platform of a political party.  Unlike the Democrats, the rules established at the RNC are set in stone and cannot be changed until four years later when the entire party reconvenes at the following convention, which makes them very important.

As the current Co-Chair of the RNC, she next discussed the site selection for a political convention which I found to be quite interesting.  The first step is to send out letters to a variety of cities to find out which ones would be interested in hosting such an event.  For this particular convention, the Republicans heard back from Cleavland, Tampa Bay, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and once again New York City (NYC hosted the 2004 Republican National Convention).  After receiving these responses, it was next their duty to tour the cities and venues to see which would be capable of holding such a massive event.  In the end, the final decision was based on the facilities and whether or not the community would welcome the event.

Many people have come to oppose political conventions because they believe that increased technology makes them unnecessary.  There are also many obstacles when planning conventions, such as security and raising enough money.  Although each party receives a certain amount of money for their conventions, that hardly puts a dent in the total cost and it is up to the party to foot the rest of the bill.  However, conventions are still important because they energize supporters to do what needs to happen to get their candidate elected.

We also took a four hour bus tour of Minneapolis/St. Paul and of the Minnesota Capitol Building.  While Minneapolis and St. Paul are beautiful cities with their lakes and access to the Mississippi River, I find that both towns lack the historical background of Philadelphia, which made the tour somewhat boring, however that certainly won’t interfere with what is to happen in the coming week.  We ended the bus ride at the Minnesota State Fair and I ate a lot of fried food on a stick (enough said).

Sound bite of the day: “…sisterhood of the travelling pant suit…” -Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

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