The media horde has left Denver. But the travel toothbrushes won’t stay dry long. Now it’s off to Minneapolis-St. Paul to do the same thing all over again for the Republican National Convention.
The Democrats lasted only four days in Denver, but the twenty-four-hour news cycles made it feel like a month, and even the thought of reliving it again is draining. But we will relive it again, right? The media always applies the same standards to Democrats as Republicans, we’re told, so it should be the same coverage all over again.
If so, I humbly submit some juicy, made-for-television storylines to keep journalists busy all week:
. This, as we know, was a very fruitful topic for the media in Denver. The barometer of mainstream opinion, The Note, was obsessed with the issue (see Tuesday’s piece). And reporters seemed to have nothing else on their minds–for example, immediately after Speaker of the House and convention chair Nancy Pelosi gave a rousing, McCain-bashing speech, NBC News’s Ann Curry peppered her with six straight questions about jaded Hillary supporters. In fact, given the chance to interview Pelosi, Senator Charles Schumer, Obama communications director Robert Gibbs, and former President Jimmy Carter, NBC and MSNBC correspondents used eighteen of their twenty questions to ask about supposed Clinton- Obama tension.
Surely this is even more fertile ground in St. Paul, no? Why is the sitting Vice President given one of the worst slots in the whole convention: non-primetime, on the first day, which happens to be Labor Day? Why is the current President, an ostensible leader of the party, on the same day? Why is Bush now making noise about possibly not attending at all, with the paper-thin premise that he has to monitor Hurricane Gustav?
Imagine if Bill Clinton–note, no longer the President–skipped the convention because he had some business to attend to. Can we find some diehard Bush supporters who are angry about these speaking slots? Can we get some body-language experts to analyze if Bush really means his speech in support of McCain? Is there a rift between the current and prospective Republican Presidents–I mean, they already won’t be seen on camera together.
Also, why are so many prominent Republicans not attending the conference? What’s with this party disunity? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may not go. Furthermore, Senators Elizabeth Dole, Gordon Smith, Ted Stevens, Susan Collins, Pat Roberts and Senate candidate Bob Schaffer definitely aren’t going. Senate candidates John Kennedy and Steve Pearce are undecided, as is Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. John Sununu and Sen. Jim Inhofe. (Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman is going, but “if the convention wasn’t in St. Paul, I wouldn’t be at the convention.”)