The Worst-Timed Convention Ever
by fbihop, Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 12:23:46 PM EDT
The Republican National Convention wasn't timed very well. This has nothing to do with Gustav, since the Republican party could not have anticipated that a hurricane would hit the Gulf Coast while they tried to have their little party (and judging by the crowds, it is a little party).
Putting it right after the Democratic convention was supposed to kill any bounce the Democrats had; instead, it serves as a chance for the media and common people to compare the two events. And the RNC is left begging. Even the least experience of all journalists are calling it out.
But there are other factors:
John McCain's birthday: John McCain turned 72 years old on Friday. While this was largely killed by his announcement of Palin, it still warranted some mention in the media.
Hurricane Katrina: Sure, the Republicans couldn't have planned that Gustav would hit, but planning the convention right after Hurricane Katrina... that just doesn't make any sense. Katrina was one of the Republicans worst failings of the past eight years. With the picture of McCain and Bush eating cake while Katrina flooded, this makes it even worse.
NFL Debut: When Barack Obama spoke last Thursday, he received huge ratings, the largest of any political convention ever. McCain was never going to reach those numbers because the excitement about his candidacy is nowhere near that of the excitement about Obama's candidacy. But it also is on the same day that the Washington Redskins play at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Last year's debut game on NBC easily won the ratings battle and is expected to do so again.
All in all, it adds up to horrible timing and less attention on the actual convention. Though with the small crowds, police presence in St. Paul and massive protests against them, perhaps it WAS for the best.