Monday, May 24, 2004

If John Kerry does not accept the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency until five weeks after the party's national convention in Boston, what exactly is the point of the convention then? Not surprisingly, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is asking the same question.
Menino has much on the line politically regarding the success of the convention, because he was instrumental in bringing it to Boston. Recent studies have predicted that the convention will be a net economic loss in Boston, because it is displacing other big events this summer and because shutdowns of major roadways for security needs will affect worker productivity.

The mayor may also need city taxpayers to chip in for the convention, because fund-raising has slowed in recent months and costs are threatening to increase. A convention without a formal nomination could take away from the event and make it harder for organizers to draw interest from television networks.

. . . the move could further sour relations with the host committee and the businesses that are supporting its efforts. Clayton Turnbull, vice president of the convention host committee, said Kerry should accept the nomination at the convention to make the point that the event "is about patriotism," and not simply part of a "business deal."
It's bad enough that party conventions in the US have become nothing more than live mega-commercials with a pro forma nominating ceremony at the end. Now apparently they're going to go as pure unadulterated commercials -- 100% "business deal" decked out in red, white and blue. Even reruns of Fear Factor could beat this out in the ratings.

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