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Rainout at the Republican National Convention

Date posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Musings on the (still) upcoming RNC.

Photograph via Flickr by Benjamin Lehman

Photograph via Flickr by Benjamin Lehman

This week’s original plan for the Construction political bloggers was for each of us to write about the previous night’s convention developments.[1] I was assigned to recap Monday.

So much for that.

Instead, here are some thoughts heading into the three nights of the Republican National Convention:

Does anyone care that Monday was canceled? It feels like we lost a pre-season sports game; no one’s really complaining except the people who stand to profit. Even the party itself shouldn’t be too discouraged. Now it gets to squeeze four prime time nights into three, which means less downtime. Also, all the irrelevant speakers will get pushed into speaking this afternoon while everyone is working. Everyone, that is, except for labor unions.[2]

Which gets me to thinking . . . do we even need multiple nights of a convention? Make it two nights or even one. Three or four hours should be enough to get a message across. Condensing the material would make it more palatable and accessible to the mainstream viewer. As Ben Hoffman wrote yesterday, “I’m not sure who watches conventions besides the parties’ bases and political junkies. Undecided voters may be waiting for the debates to really tune in.” He’s right, and can you blame viewers? The convention is four nights long and the participants don’t really care about politics! So, which is more important to the party and the country—satiating political nerds or reaching out to open-minded voters? It’s kind of like how the NFL gets way better television ratings than any other sport. All the week’s action for a team is done in one  3.5 hour sitting, rather than in multiple games throughout a week, a la baseball and basketball. It can’t and won’t be must-see TV if it’s 12 hours across 4 days.

Ron Paul update! Since we established the outcome of the Republican Primary, the RNC has steadily siphoned Paul delegates. Paul is mad as hell and he’s just barely going to continue taking it. The most hilarious twist is the RNC seating chart; take a look at where the RNC organizers decided to seat Paul’s best states (Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oklahoma). Oh, how their noses will bleed.

The seating chart also reveals the Romney Campaign’s prime targets. Who has the best seats in the house? New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia. How do the other states feel about this? Construction needs an investigative reporter! I’m looking at you, Stephen Kurczy.

Finally, what can we look forward to tonight? Well, here’s the official schedule. Of the five scheduled hours before 7:00, the highlight is either the national anthem or the “official convention photograph,” which I kind of picture as the ugliest group mug shot since Nick Nolte dined alone.[3] Then, in prime time, we can look forward to Speaker of the House John Boehner, former Romney rival Rick Santorum, future Hillary Clinton rival Bob McDonnell, current Tea Party prince Ted Cruz, and perpetual dwarf planet Chris Christie, who will give the keynote address.

Should be fun! Check back over the next few days for daily Construction updates. Tomorrow, Anthony Resnick weighs in.

[1] (For our roundtable preview of the Republican National Convention, click here.)

[2] Anthony Resnick, you just got zinged.

[3] I think I fucked up that joke.

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Ian Cheney, Connecticut resident, wrote the Presidential Politics for America blog, which took a close look at the historic primaries of 2008 and 2012. Ian earned his B.A. in History and an M.A. in American Studies. He teaches honors history in southeast Connecticut.

View all posts by Ian Cheney →


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