Is it time to do away with national political conventions?
July 11th, 2012
03:45 PM ET

Is it time to do away with national political conventions?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the Democrats and Republicans prepare to host their national conventions in the coming weeks, some wonder if it's even worth throwing these big pep rallies anymore.

For starters, the Democrats are facing numerous problems when it comes to their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Some Democrats aren't even going to attend, saying they'd rather stay home and campaign instead.

The Democrats are millions of dollars behind Republicans in fundraising for the convention - Since President Obama is refusing corporate donations.

Pres. Obama carried North Carolina four years ago, but he has major problems there this year. Voters amended the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage. The unions are steamed because there are no unionized hotels in Charlotte. There is a sexual harassment scandal rocking the North Carolina Democratic Party, and the state has a very unpopular sitting Democratic governor.

It's probably no coincidence that the Democrats have already shortened their convention by a day.

But it's not just the Democrats. Some Republicans are also skipping their party's convention in Tampa.

The fact is these political conventions are expensive, 4-day long parties - and they still get tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding. Not exactly a top priority for most of us taxpayers when you consider all the other places that money could go.

Plus it's not like there's any surprise or drama when the candidates and their running mates are generally known long before the conventions.

Former Mississippi governor and RNC chairman Haley Barbour told Politico he would prefer 3-day conventions instead of four:

"Nobody would know the difference besides some bartenders and restaurateurs in the host city."

Here’s my question to you: Is it time to do away with national political conventions?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Miguel Morris, austin, texas

    Have you lost your bearings? Lose all those millions of dollars to boost the economy. This way President Obama can say he helped generate jobs, even if these jobs are temporary. Not so much in the Democratic Party, but the Republicans need this time to bond, and mend, and allow the wounds of campaigning to heal. The Convention also gives the President to Be and VP time to make points with the people that will campaign hard for them until voting time.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  2. Pat in Michigan

    Geez Jack,like unemployment isn't bad enough? now you want to put a bunch of hookers out of business?

    July 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  3. Oliver El Paso, TX

    With the campaign starting so early and already have the two candidates, Why have a campaign all its for so Wolf can announce over and over who are the two candidates, for sure I will see something else.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Bob in Ohio

    Nope...I would rather watch politicians and their supporters lying and partying than just about any of the trash that passes through the air to my TV every evening.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    No. It's time to do away with money in our politics, however, especially millionaire and billionaire money wherein they own the politicians they pay for. Who cares about conventions when there are bigger fish to fry, as it were.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  6. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    If they continue to be dog and pony shows, I say do away with them. Only the already committed pay any attention anyway.

    If Ron Paul's Libertarians take over the Republican Convention and speak truth to power brokers, I say convene til the cows come home.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Dave, Orlando, FL

    I couldn’t care less. I have long since given up expecting a politician to do anything for me, so I don’t vote and don’t care what the thieving fools do to eachother on the campaign trail or at their sham conventions. I just wish they would leave me alone and at least let me watch something worthwhile on TV. And I especially wish that you guys would spare us three and a half years of annoying political coverage. One simple statement once every four years, the day after Election Day, announcing who will be screwing us over for the next four years would more than suffice.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  8. Doug Ericson

    Not this year. I have been looking forward to the conventions this year. I expect them to be entertaining, especially the RNC. Can you imagine the posing and infighting if Romney hasn't announced his running mate by then. I can't, and that is why he should announce his choice before then. And before I forget, there is Joe Bidens speech to look forward to. I expect it to be uproarious. But what I am really looking forward to is Rubio's speech. Rubio will get a speaking spot as a consolation prize after Romney jilts him for VP. Listen carefully and you will hear Rubio say vote for Obama while he smiles and cries at the same time. And good luck to Romney if he picks Mr. Rogers to be his VP. After the Rubio speech no one will watch. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  9. jk in MN

    Yes – and do away with the Electoral college as well and go on the popular vote – period! That way candidates had better pay attention to all parts of the country and not just the ones in the "Swing States". What a screwed up system we have.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It seems a waste of time since the candidate is already decided. Often, the vice presidential nominee is announced which is usually not generally known. But we don't vote for 2nd banana. Other than that it's a party. All the speeches and talk is just the usual hyperbole. I can't remember if I've ever watched one minute of it..

    July 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  11. Pete in Georgia

    Never discontinue them. Let them stand as a perfect example of what politics are. Nothing but a circus of corruption and deceit. A professional side show of the most devious slight of hand artists on this planet.
    No, let them shine for what they truly are.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Gary in San Jose, California

    The conventions made sense when radio, television, and newspapers were the only communication options. Now they just look like an overly expensive chisel and hammer. It looks like our politicians are slow to climb out of their 20th century shells. Should we be surprised?

    July 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Mel - Houston

    You don't have to stop at political conventions. Just do away with political parties. Of course we can't do this until we money out of politics.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Eric, Toronto

    You mean do away with a three day commercial that no one watches?
    Besides the candidates speeches nothing else matters.

    Don't do away with the convention, get rid of the mandatory TV coverage.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Indie Pete in Florida

    Given the extremely evident and widespread dishonesty of the two political parties and their members, as well as their complete deparure from their original common-sense ideologies, I don't understand how ANYONE could be gullible and uninformed enough to be loyal to either party. Forget party loyalty, folks – these are no longer the parties you joined decades ago. Do your own research (at NONpartisan resources) on the candidates and the issues, and vote accordingly. If you're too lazy for that, then a good start would simply be voting out ALL current incumbents.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  16. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I used to enjoy watching the conventions even when I was a kid with my parents. That was when you did not know who is going to win the nomination. Today I do not watch them because it is nothing but a rehearsed play that consist of bashing their opponent. Conventions today are controlled just like everything else by lobbyists and special interest groups that are there to see that their interest is protected and nobody goes off script. It's not much fun when you know what is going to come out there mouth before it comes out.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  17. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Negative, it's time to return to the fundamental thinking and purposes National Political Conventions were originally created and held for. The exchange of ideals and solidify a platform was a healthy exercises. Now, PACs and Super PACs and Corporate campaign financing has replaced idea innovations from common independent citizens,collaborations, establishment of common goals for the common good of the country, or even compromising within the party to achieve a goal which is beneficial to the welfare of he country.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  18. Richard Texas

    It is way past time for these wasteful conventions to come to an end. What it all boils down to is a small handful of select individuals being allowed to speak to an audience of even fewer people to brag about their imaginary candidate savior of the economy. Remember folks these politicians are all part of the problem not the solution and are the reason we got into trillions of dollars of debt. If they had been more fiscally responsible to begin with then it never would have happened in the first place. Now they want us to believe they have some magical elixir that only they posses to heal the economy. All you have to do is give them your vote. Yeah Right.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  19. s in fl

    I think we should ban these conventions. We Floridians can't run the risk of left-wing terrorists sneaking in with water pistols or worse yet "pieces of wood".

    July 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  20. Doug-Dallas

    If both sides are serious about saving money, then yes. But we all know that is not the truth so nothing will change, kinda like Congress!!

    July 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  21. calaurore9

    No! They are pep rallies to be sure. But, entertainment for the doldrums of summer. Those crazy hats, silly outfits. Oh, that's the Republican convention.

    Carol in NoHo, Ma

    July 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  22. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Yes, we should do away with conventions. If the candidate reaches the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Then the party should just announce that this person is their nominee for president. It is wasting valuable money on conventions when it could be spent on ads or funding campaign trips around to key swing states.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  23. Thom Richer

    Is this a rhetorical question, Jack?

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  24. Jerry Dines

    The effort to control America by the small percentage of greedy, power hungry self interest groups must be recognized.
    Elimination of the hard to control middle class into the poorer lower class which can be controlled with intimidating fear and ultimately armed force is the hidden agenda of these liars.
    Their greed and power controlling addictions cause them to deceive their own minds into believing their ends are for the betterment of those they will ultimately control and thus their lies and deceits are justified by the ends. The ends justifying the means are a good indication for defining evil intentions at the highest levels.
    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” Albert Einstein
    Jerry Dines Pittsburgh, Penna.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Martha Brooks

    Heavens no! After listening to the candidates supposedly serious BS for a year or so, we deserve some genuine comic relief!

    Martha, Rew, PA

    July 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  26. John from Alabama

    Jack: National political conventions serve a purpose. It is away the party faithful can state in writing what they stand for or stand against in their party platform. Many times there are more fireworks in forming the party platform than selecting a presidential candidate. It is also away the party can tell a state or region thanks for its support by having the convention in a certain city. National conventions bring in alot of money for the area in tourism dollars. Restaurants and bars do a booming business. Plus the party sometimes gets direction regardless who wins the election. The Republican Party is in trouble with Espainics, Asians, African-Americans, and women an the convention would be a good time to mend fense or not.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  27. Ed from California

    If it's taxpayer funded....then yes!! If it's on their dime...then it's on their dime...so I don't really care. Besides, we're watching Big Brother that night!!

    July 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  28. Julia, Fayetteville, NC

    Yes, and that isn't the end of the "do away with" list. We need to add .....4 years or more running for President.....contributions more than $2,500......8 year president terms.......being in Congress if you are past 70.....being a Supreme Court Justice if you are past 70.....the tax system as it now exists......I COULD KEEP ON BUT YOU PROBABLY GET THE PICTURE.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  29. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    As my daughter would say, Heck to the No! This year, Ron Paul has embedded supporters among the Romney delegation in most states (not just the caucus states). If he embedded enough, there may be a vote to change the rules to allow free votes on the first ballot. If there were no conventions, such a stunt would be impossible. The fact that there is even a possibility, by the way, shows just how incompetent the Romney crew is. Even if they don't change the rules, the platform committee deliberations are worth the price of admission.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  30. james in greenville nc

    Absolutely, Jack, do away with them. The conventions are like waiting until you are married to have sex. Who does that anymore? I would rather watch some reruns of "I Love Lucy."

    July 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Get rid of the conventions, the Electoral College and the primaries, cap campaign financing at one million dollars (no personal monies allowed) and reduce campaigning to 6 weeks. One person, one vote, winner takes all and losers have to stay out of government for 6 years. One last thing, Florida is exempted from voting, since it has demonstrated it can't properly run an election.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  32. Rick, Medina, OH


    Our politics changed for the worse, when gerrymandering became so rampant. Now, the majority of Congressional districts (and many Senate seats) have become largely predictable. That means in much of the country, elections are about candidates selling themselves to party officials ... to get on the ballot.
    If you believe as I that Americans possess a 'collective wisdom,' creating competitive elections throughout the country should be high on our list of priorities. Conventions would again be relevant.

    Medina, Ohio

    July 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  33. Brandon Harrison

    I would say so it's time to bag conventions. They are a waste of time, money, and only promote the polarization of America.

    Brandon Harrison
    Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

    July 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Not if you live in the city where they hold them but in my opinion a lot of things could be eliminated to reduce wasted money and help people who really need help in America, like not spending $2 Billion a week in Afghanistan and other countries.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  35. Steve from Concord, CA

    I think it's time to get rid of them. As society gets more and more technology-savvy, I don't see why we need to host conventions in major metropolitan centers just to cause traffic jams. There's already a lot of traffic on the web, Jack. But unlike the regular conventions, no one's complaining about clogged roads when politicians bring promises they can't keep to the internet super highway.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  36. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Leave the conventions alone but do away with all the hyperbole emanating from the media circus which surrounds them. What you'll have left is "Just the facts ma'am." It's unfortunate that a dragnet can't be used to catch pabulum.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  37. David Gerstenfeld

    YES ! YES! YES! I've been saying that for 30 years. But first, abolish the electoral college once & for all. If we have to endure conventions, at least get rid of the stupid hats & balloons so the rest of the world can observe how our democracy works not our circus.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  38. Hippolyte

    The parties' conventions serve the parties so they are free to conduct them as they see fit.What I (an Independent) don't need is the wall to all coverage that the media insists on trashing the air waves with (another reality show?). Perhaps what is in order is a moratorium on media coverage. Those party members who are choosing to not attend their party's convention are the sensible ones, maybe the media should take the hint.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  39. Shawn

    It's not just the parties or the politics, the two arty system seems to serve everyone but the voter. Jack, you hit te nail on the head again. Why do delegates need to meet to vote, electronic means can provide the same results without millions spent by cities on special policing and accommodations for opposing demonstrators. Maybe Silicon Valley should be hired to set up a one vote- one citizen account attached to your SSN # so everyone who filed current taxes ( hopefully paid ) can vote only once, in one state no exceptions. And Yes, get rid of the conventions!

    July 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  40. Osilama Abu from Ontario,Canada

    Hi Jack,
    The Convention still remains the platform for the party flag bearers to really articulate their ideas and tell the people what they stand for and what they would do to improve the state of the nation.Though, there is pomp and pageantry associated with these conventions,the economic benefits to the hosting states and towns are enormous and the attention it garners both nationally and internationally,determines how tuned in the electorates and international observers of American politics are.
    As for funding for such conventions,let the parties be entirely responsible, with no funds from tax payers.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  41. Andre R. Newcomb

    No. Never. People just might have a breaking point. Hearts might rise. Tears might flow.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  42. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    No, Jack. In fact it is time to do away with political campaigns and ONLY do the conventions. Each party do away with pollitical campaign ads and all this running around the country squawking about our problems and how they intend to fix all of them. Instead, we only have to listen to three days of speechs at the conventions and anything else would be outlawed! Can I get an Amen on that?

    July 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  43. Jim in Denver, CO

    How about we do away with both parties and start all over again. Reverse Citizens United, make all elections publically funded, get rid of lobbyists and special interest groups (that means you Mr. Norquist in particular), go to a popular vote system and get rid of the Electoral College, and enact term limits on all branches of the Federal Government (President 2 terms, House 5 terms, Senate 2 terms, Supreme Court 20 years max in seat). That should do it!

    July 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  44. itsmeagain

    Definitely get rid of the conventions. Too much like the clown car circus of the Republican nominees . No longer fun in this economic climate. We can just joke around on your CNN blog, Jack.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  45. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    absolutely NOT, Jack. every four years it's the greatest COMEDY SHOW on TV.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  46. Brad, Portland, OR

    They're just boondoggles for the faithful to party at. Like the electoral college, they've long outlived their usefulness.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  47. Sylvia from California

    Yes, and while they are at it, we should pass legislation to reduce the campaigning time down to 2 months max. Taxpayers should provide the air time for debates and that should be the end of it... Obama has spend more time on the road (on our expense) instead of doing the job he was elected to do.......

    July 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  48. John Lake Charles, LA

    It's time to do away with the whole two-party system. Let all of them run as independants, responsible only to the people they represent not the "party" that owns them.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  49. TomInRochNY

    How about we get rid of national politicians? There's got to be a better way.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    July 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  50. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    Do away with conventions?? Just think of all those dollars spent by the attendees, a short lived localized economic boost at best, and those 100's of temporary unskilled labor jobs that might put food on someone's table till a real job (ha ha ha) comes along. Look at all those write offs the attendees will get. A last chance for the delusional and out of touch to whoop it up before they go back to planning the next one for the next non-event (meaningless election for most of us). Hell, keep the conventions and do away with political parties. Over the last 39 years (another Jack Benny birthday) the major parties have proven time and again just how useless they are. Glad I got that off my chest.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  51. JAB - Missouri

    Yes. We need to have a whole lot more Iowa caucuses where they declare a different winner every week, and then end up supporting someone else altogether.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  52. Gail, Plano TX.

    The time to do away with national political conventions is long overdue, Jsck! They have become a 3 ring circus and are very boring. Plus, they cost eons of money, money we taxpayers do not have. Nor that we wish to spend on a dog & pony show. But it gives you guys in the media something to do!

    July 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  53. Paul in NC

    Yes, but it won't happen. Political types have a burning need to see and be seen by the "right" people. This is their once in four years chance to mingle with all of them. The candidates, the speeches and the platform are all pretty much irrelevant. It's the connections that count. Don't expect any of them to do away with this ego feeding frenzy any time soon.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  54. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    All they amount to is the lobbyist just stuff the pockets of the politicians and lay out what bills they want passed to help their companies. The candidate has already been chosen and this is no more than a drunk party.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  55. Larry in Houston

    Is it time to do away with national political conventions?
    Answer : Get rid of the conventions, and donate any or all money to the national debt.
    At the same time, get rid of that old antiquated "electoral college" Why ? because – Is it fair to have 5 or 6 states decide who our next commander – in – chief will be ? People in states like texas / calif / n.Y. & others already know which candidate their state is going to get the "electoral college" votes.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  56. Mr. D

    It will be like watching the olympics: running (for political cover), jumping (to unfounded conclusions), skating (past the truth), fencing (fending off the other party's attacks), high hurdles (trying to jump as high as the public's expectations, and my favorite event of all: sleeping, which I intend to do during these non events.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  57. Gigi Oregon

    More important get rid of the "Electoral College" and the Supreme Court give-away. Do overs... Please... Every vote elects. Period. Fraud (such as "hanging chads" throws all states votes out of the election.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  58. Renee, Illinois

    The answer is a resounding YES! All that money spent and nothing to show for it except more political rhetoric, just what this country needs. Just think what a boost the economy would get if we redirected all that money wasted on conventions and political ads.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  59. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack, there are some questions you ask your mother, others you ask your father, this is one for a stripper; I'm sure there's one in New York you can ask and not too far from the studio.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  60. Shari Winlock, Washington

    Politicians of both parties should be required to sit in the audience and listen to us for three or four days.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  61. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Whoever said 'more is better' never watched a US political convention. Just a bunch of blowhards adding more hot air to the heatwave we've all been experiencing lately.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  62. ken, atlantic city, nj

    yes, donate the money to the homeless and let them have a party.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  63. Jeff in Minnesota

    Wow Jack, you're a real party pooper aren't you? If the parties want to throw a party in the form of a convention, then it's their problem to fund it. And if they cannot fund it, then they'll have to find a new way to get their business done. Believe it or not, the parties are run by adults (although I have to admit I do have my doubts about that fact these days), so I think they can figure things out.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Bob in Kansas City

    Nah, don't do away with the conventions themselves, where else can you get 3-4 days worth of entertainment from a collection of idiotic true believers. With all the corporate cash flowing to both parties it is time for them to be entirely financed by private donations however.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  65. Marianna, Montrose, CO

    The conventions are good entertainment, but a waste of money - give it to charity.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  66. Carol, Washington

    Definitely! They can do everything via the Internet that they do in person.... oh, wait, guess they can't get drunk together that way, can they?

    July 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  67. Paul, Louisiana

    Just be glad it won't be like Comic Con. Oh wait, there are people that do dress up and they are called politicians

    July 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  68. ronvan

    Dear Jack: YES, get rid of them! Just party time for our "elected children" when they haven't done ANYTHING to help us! Especially the republicans!!

    Van Columbus, GA.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  69. getalife in the real world.

    It is another way to show the gop lied about cutting spending.

    Election reform is needed ASAP.

    Too long and too many bribes.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Aaron Beck, Kandahar, Afghanistan

    Shorten them, maybe. Get rid of them, no. Politicians love the polling bump that they receive and it makes them feel important for a week. What would President Obama do without another chance to hear himself speak?

    July 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  71. Doug

    The Conventions? It's time to do away with the parties. I'm an Independent, and I'm tired of political nutjobs from the left and right whittling my choices down before I even get a chance to vote. George Washington warned us when he left office, and we've been making the same mistake every election since.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Jon in Tempe, Arizona

    I would say yes it is. All they are is a marketing opportunity for the two parties. Obviously everyone already knows who the nominee will be. It has been a long time since we had one where we did not know. They are so scripted and choreographed that they do not mean much anymore. In today's day and age of computers do you really think they need that totally scripted floor call vote for the nomination? I would say we move to have a national primary/caucus day and let whoever wins the most votes be the nominee, end of subject. The conventions are a throwback to the past.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  73. Jeff

    Hell, Jack. Let them have week-long conventions! The problem isn't the length of time, it's that these conventions are being paid for by the taxpayers. How about having the conventions paid for by the DNC and RNC? Then, the DNC could have its 3-day convention and the RNC could have a two-week convention on a round-trip cruise to Bermuda and the Cayman Islands to check on their hedge funds.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  74. raldan

    Without party Conventions, we might have never heard of Senator Barack Obama... hmmm, you might have a point.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  75. Dave

    Jack, three days is long enough. I've attended political conventions; nothing really gets accomplished, but conventions are a good time to network with fellow political activists, and it's always a good party!

    Kitchener, Cananda

    July 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  76. Matt

    Yes, but only if the networks televise some REAL circuses. Now, the only circus shows on TV are the polictical conventions.
    Matt Seattle WA

    July 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  77. Ed in Sacramento

    Aren't those conventions to choose who will represent that party come November, so yeah they are necessary. What alternative do you offer a MSNBC poll to decide the candidates?

    Ok, am a bit crotchety today at least I didn't say CNN or FOX poll...huh 🙂

    July 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  78. Justin

    At least this election cycle, with the candidates' finances and the economy in general being key issues, it may well be worth doing away with things that cost taxpayer money as much as possible. And since the convention will have negligible impact, both parties would be better off cancelling their respective conventions in the interest of reducing government spending.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  79. Bob in Texas

    Political parties are private clubs, Jack. Whether they have three day or four day or no day conventions is their business. However, there should be NO taxpayer money used to support these conventions whatsoever, or any other party business. If they want to have a Party party it's OK with me, just don't ask me to pay for it.

    If the truth were know, from a political point of view, the conventions probably do more harm than good anyway. Both parties end up looking stupid and incompetent by the time it's all over.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  80. Matt, Lancaster, NY

    It's time to do away with parties period.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  81. Mari R

    Not only is it time to do away with national political party conventions, it's waaay past time to do away with national political parties. Wouldn't that help with the national debt?

    July 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  82. Vince Lepore

    Political Conventions serve the purpose of keeping Politics in the News. Too many Americans do not participate in the Election process as it is. Doing something that may lessen participation even further by reducing news coverage is probably not a good idea.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  83. betsy andersen

    yes, a waste of good money. none of us know who to vote for anyway. both canidates seem to be full of hot air. Strange congress isn't doing anything either.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  84. Rudy Padgett

    Yes, it is time to do away with the political conventions, and the people that attend them.

    Rudy P.
    Roanoke, Va

    July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  85. CRussell

    Sure, keep squeezing the tax payer even more, specifically the middle class, and we'll keep paying for these useless political conventions. What is really gained during these 3 or 4 day holidays...the bartenders and waitresses would loose their tips.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  86. art

    Does getting rid of politoical conventions, mean Congress will go away?

    Jackson, MS

    July 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  87. Michael

    Not only are the political conventions a waste of time, they needlessly spend taxpayer dollars. Do away with the conventions and most politicians!

    July 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  88. Carol, Illinois

    Isn't it interesting that few, if any Americans trust our politicians and yet they continue this boring, money consuming, horn tooting event!! Trash it.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  89. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Its been PAST TIME to do away with National political conventions. They are nothing but a waste of time, taxpayer dollars, and air-time for the networks. I'd actually prefer 'American Idol' to the National conventions..and I don't even like 'American Idol'.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  90. Ashik Jamnadas

    It's simple. Political Parties are private organizations and as such are free to hold conventions for as many days as they choose. Let's just stop subsidizing them so we won't have to worry about it.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  91. Sandra from Texas

    Jack, I really don't know why we bother. There will be no surprises and we know what all the attendees will say. A lot of cash will be spent and when it's over, we'll all know just as much as we did before the conventions. It's sad but, apparently, politics has become the biggest industry in our country. Too bad we can't take all that money and use it for something more useful, like heath care.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  92. Jerry Daugherty

    Yes, Jack, party conventions should be a thing of the past. While we're at it, we need to change our whole system so that we're not always in "campaign mode." Let's do away with PACs and campaign contributions. Start a campaign 90 days prior to the election and give everybody equal time on public television. If we took all of the money that was normally spent , we could fund the health care program. Mascoutah, Illinois

    July 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  93. Fred

    Get rid of political conventions? Hell yes, Jack. And while we're at it, why not get rid of political parties all together. In my opinion, neither one is representative of the vast majority of the American people. There's little uniting about the two major parties, but plenty of divisiveness. The Demo has drifted a bit more to the left in recent years, so that the occasionally clip the curb; while the GOPers has moved so far to the right that they're now driving through our backyards neighbor's front yard, and are about to turn into oncoming traffic.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  94. Brian (from White Bread Connecticut)

    It's past time to ax the conventions. They're a remnant of an age where the US had some respect around the world, and perhaps that entitled the parties to the pomp and circumstance of a pre-election spectacle. But with their inability to do much positive (just look at today's vote: #33) for us while accepting their taxpayer provided salary and vast benefits, it's an idea that's worse than another Hollywood awards show. The Democrats are hurting for money, so they won't mind, and as for the Republicans...let them rip themselves to pieces from the basement meeting rooms of the Bayonne Holiday Inn.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  95. Nikki, Texas

    No, Democrats and Republicans alike need to stop worrying about their own pocket books and bank accounts and start doing something to fix this economy! We elected them into office to do just that. Instead they are worried about their own bottom line and the time and effort it would take to get anything productive done. Maybe for once they could think about all of the money they are putting into the pockets of the poor bartenders and waitresses that elected them into office just by having the convention,

    July 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  96. susan

    The party that forgoes their convention and used the money to help areas effected by the economy (detroit) or natural disasters (colorado or new orleans) would gain more votes than any convention could ever earn

    July 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  97. Kathy Kiernan

    No. It's the RNC's last chance to nominate a viable candidate.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  98. Bryan

    No just shorten them, besides this is so minor compared to the more pressing issues like the Hrepealing the Affordable Health Care Act in the House for the 30th time.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  99. Denis , North Carolina

    Imagine a democracy without political parties, from 1776 until 1852 that's the way it was. Political parties are little more than advertising agencies with no internal democratic component. Political strategists, pollsters, campaign consultants, fund raisers and the media have superseded congressional representation. Cancel the conventions and ask yourself why political parties control anything – – – particularly our elected government representatives.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  100. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    After listening to months and months of negative campaign ads, it is hard to become enthusiastic about the election. Citizens United has put the elections up for sale. On Long Island, the Republicans attended a $75,000 per couple political dinner while many Americans can not pay their house payment. A good and decent man sits in the White House. A good and decent man is expected to be the Republicn nominee. However, after listening to the disgusting campaign ads concerning these two men, you would think neither is fit for the office. If we could eliminate the Karl Rove's and the Gordon Norquist's thinking and ideas of politics, take the race question off the table, be truthful about yourself and your opponent, , put country before Party, no more "winners" being decided by the Supreme Court, only six months of campaining allowed then, perhaps, the citizens of this county would become enthusiastic about our presidential campaigns.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  101. Roger Simmons

    THE PARTY IS OVER, Wake Up Washington! Sorry Wolf
    Not one dollar of tax payer money should be used for these conventions! This should be the first spending cut made in Washington D.C.!
    Wonder what the Vegas odds would be?

    July 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  102. Lee Ft Lauderdale

    Jack, Do away with the conventions and also get rid of the Primaries!! Have a general primary on Feburary first Tuesday where anyone can run if there get enough signatures to get on the ballot. This will narrow the field down to 4 candidates and on the first tuesday of May have a runoff for the final two candidates who will run for the general election. This gets of the conventions and the political parties. What a great day that will be!

    July 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  103. derek

    one hour is more than enough. Just let the nominee make a short speach, and intro the vp pick.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm |