Dumb it down
What's the story with the American Political Conventions?
The Democratic and Republican conventions are all over the news the past week, so we decided to break down just how important they are to the candidates running for President of the United States.
By Mike Sheridan
Why does it matter so much?
In terms of publicity the conventions for both the Democrats (Barack Obama) and the opposing Republicans (Mitt Romney) are absolutely huge. They’re a global soapbox for not just the leaders of each party, but for high profile supporters.
Well you may have heard about Clint Eastwood’s conversation with an empty chair last week at the Republican convention. Eastwood was there to lend some high profile support to Romney, but ended up overshadowing him as he continually went off script and rambled. It was a horrible distraction in a time when Romney is desperately trying to build momentum coming into the November election.
Who have the Democrats had so far, then?
You really don’t get more popular than Bill Clinton. He left the US economy in an incredibly healthy state when he gave up office in 2000; then George W. Bush and 9/11 happened and everything went to shite. Last night Clinton gave a rousing, inspirational speech that had the packed convention on their feet and hanging on his every word. Every major news outlet on the planet is reporting on the speech; in stark contrast to Romney’s surprise guest, it couldn’t have gone down better.
What does this mean in terms of the overall election?
At the moment – according to the latest polls – Obama is leading both the popular vote and the college electoral (votes each state has to determine president) vote relatively comfortably. He’s also yet to formally accept the nomination to run again (a formality) which is more opportunity to prove how articulate a leader he is. In fairness to Romney his core voters are predominately in Middle-America so we don’t hear too much about him over this side of the pond unless it’s a ‘Bush-like’ gaff. See his recent comments at London 2012...
So which convention was more successful?
The Democrat one is still on-going and Obama will surely score more points after his speech. But Romney has galvanised the conservatives and they’re ready to back him in a big way. It could come down to the ever elusive independents and the always entertaining live debates.