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Convention Watch: Republican Party Convention

Statesde with Rosalea: Convention Watch

Republican Party Convention

The Republicans have to be glad that John McCain isn't running as vice president for the Democrats. He was on the CBS Sunday morning political talking head show, Face the Nation, this morning and, based on this morning's performance, I'd vote for him in a New York minute. He's funny, sincere, and sensible. Except when he implies that the Swift Boat ads are made possible by faulty legislation that lets 527s organizations raise much larger amounts of money than the candidates' committees can.

Almost in the same breath, he also said that the ad buy was only $500,000. Well, that's small potatoes and could have been raised by way of small donations anyway. I hope all this reliance on having people make up their minds about a candidate based on a few seconds of paid programming will cause such angst, that politicians will go back to debating the issues. In his commentary at the end of the show, Face the Nation's host said he thought this might be the end of the road for conventions. They're just too costly for cities to deal with, and are now a financial liability instead of a boom.

Over on another channel, Rudy Giuliani was featured on the NBC show, and he's funny too, but not so likeable. Not that he tries to be. The common denominator of these two is that they'll both be featured speakers at the convention, along with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. All three are moderate Republicans, a fact that is being made much of by the media, who point out that the Republican Party platform is quite the opposite. Giuliani said that the Republican Party can accommodate all shades of opinion so long as it keeps to its two core principles, strong foreign policy and tax cuts.

It might seem like the folks in the GOP storefront are promoting what many Republicans see as inappropriately liberal values, while out in the back room the hardliners are crafting a more conservative agenda. But even that backroom agenda is not conservative enough for many voters who might prefer to vote for a party like the Constitution Party. A recent posting on their group listserv linked to an article in a Colorado newspaper that concluded: "If 2000 is any indication, the [Republican Party] platform won't bear any relationship to what will happen if the party stays in power."

As I think I've said before, a good source of convention news is the National Journal website, where you can sign up for convention alerts that are succinct and often quirky.


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