Political Fluff

THE PRESIDENTIAL conventions have ended for the year, and it also might be the end of four-day conventions where the delegates appear to be orchestrated for their cheering at appropriate places.

Some consider the four-day events to be a dinosaur and favor shortening of the conventions to possibly two days.

The conventions may be shortened for a very practical reason – reduced funding.

A bill has been introduced in Congress to cut the convention tax subsidy, which would result in less money for planners to throw a party. Millions of dollars have been provided by the taxpayers for the conventions.

LET’S face it – with all the hullabaloo leading up to the conventions, the mystery has disappeared. It’s no longer fun to watch a convention on television.

The “smoke-filled room” with its wheeling and dealing appears to be missing from the four-year events.

This is unlike the Republican convention in 1920 when Warren G. Harding was selected as the GOP candidate and became the last president from Ohio to date.

One of the reasons that Harding was selected as the candidate was because of a continuing deadlock between the two front-runners.

Harry M. Daugherty, Harding’s campaign manager and later his attorney general, had predicted some four months before that convention that he didn’t expect Harding “to be nominated on the first, second or third ballot, but I think we can well afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after 2 o’clock on Friday morning at the convention when 15 or 20 men, somewhat weary, are sitting around a table, some one of them will say, ‘Who will we nominate?’ At that decisive time, the friends of Senator Harding can suggest him and can afford to abide by the result.”

A Presidential election of 1920 website reports a consensus wasn’t reached in that smoke-filled room, but it resulted in a search for a solution, resulting in Harding’s nomination the next day.

THE COLUMBUS Dispatch quotes a University of Virginia political science professor who predicts future conventions will be on a long weekend, adding, “Essentially, the only important speeches are the nominee speeches. Everything else is fluff.”

AND it’s boring fluff.