Today, it is said that the major party conventions are nothing but tightly controlled, heavily packaged infomericals, with nothing left up to chance in the pursuit of selling voters across America on the merits of the party. Many accuse these gatherings of being sterile and scripted, lacking the floor fights and drama that marked another era of conventions. According to many in the media, conventions simply don’t matter anymore. These statements may have merit. Conventions may be sterile. They may no longer matter. But if so—if party conventions really are infomercials—then they are certainly damn exciting ones.
This week, I had the unique privilege of being able to bear witness to this at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. I saw inspiring speeches, met interesting people and indulged my rabid political obsession. It was incredible. As I was given a press pass to “cover” the DNC for this blog, I feel like I owe the kind folks from the press credentialing office a few posts about my experience. They will be put up in the next few days. But more importantly, there are less than two months until Americans decide what shape the next four years will take. The campaigning will be intense and the race will be tight. The candidate will spar, and the messages will clash. The Democrats will have to sell their party to Americans, with a solid case. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been able to take part in the killer of an infomercial the Democrats put on to starting making that case.