The political conventions: Party lineup

Both the Republican and Democratic delegates to their respective conventions have very little to do. They have to approve a party platform that no one pays attention to, and endorse a candidate that, basically, has already been endorsed.

So what’s left? Parties. And what’s the role of the parties? Influence.

The Sunlight Foundation has compiled a list of all the parties being thrown by various organizations who have some skin in the legislating game.

Here’s the Democrats’ schedule in Denver. Here’s the Republicans’ convention schedule in Minneapolis St. Paul. (The Sunshine Sunlight Foundation identified the convention as being in Minneapolis, something that has increasingly driven organizers crazy. But, let’s face it, it’s a losing battle, St. Paul.)

Though there are many more parties and events scheduled for Democrats, Republicans have some of the more interesting ones. Bank of America, for example is hosting the Bank of America Goes Green event at the University Club. AT&T is saluting the Screen Actors Guild at the Fine Line. (What? The Republicans are saluting a labor union?)

Late-night, post convention “receptions” are bieng hosted by Daimler, the Distilled Spirits Council (Solera), the Recording Industry Association of America, Honeywell, Citibank, and Anheuser Busch.

Musical acts scheduled here include Smash Mouth (Coalition for A Conservative Ma Majority at the Aqua Night Club on Monday 9/1), the Beach Boys (Atrium at International Market Square – 9/1/), Big Head Todd (The Fine Line on 9/1), LeAnn Rimes and the Bellamy Brothers (Keep Florida a Red State – Site to be determined on 9/1), Gretchen Wilson, John Rich, and Cowboy Troy (Trocaderos on 9/2, sponsored by AT&T), Styx (9/2 somewhere in downtown Minneapolis, sponsored by the food and ag industry), Super Diamond & Boogie Knights (9/3 at the Fine Line). The Recording Industry Association is promising only an “A-list musical guest at Epic on Wednesday 9/3.

Not all the events here are sympathetic to the Republicans. Target (up to recently run by a very “red” CEO) is sponsoring the Creative Coalition Gala Concert at the Depot on September 3rd. Charlie Daniels is typical Republican entertainment. But guests Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, Maggie Gyllenhaal are not.

According to The Hill, tickets to this party (and a similar one in Denver) will be among the most coveted.

All that said, both conventions have failed to live up to the Chicago convention in 1996 in terms of involving the neighborhoods of the host city. Rather than host the traditional delegate party on the Sunday night before the convention in a single location, Chicago’s neighborhoods hosted individual receptions. Delegates from each state were sent to a different neighborhood. It was a fabulous way to get to know the people of the host city. I wrote about it in this 12-year old post. We didn’t have blogs back then.

No political convention since has come as close to involving the locals.

(h/t: Jon Gordon)

  • Jon Gordon

    Re the Sunlight foundation saying RNC is in Minneapolis — At least you got them back by calling Sunlight “Sunshine Foundation” 😉

  • Oops — corrected the post to include St. Paul. Thanks for pointing out our goof.

  • Bob Collins

    Bill, you may not be wrong. The convention hotel is in Minneapolis, most of the hotels are in Minneapolis, most of the parties are in Minneapolis. St. Paul has the actual convention center.

    St. Paul actually is second-fiddle in this endeavor, we just don’t want to admit it.

  • Alison

    I think this is a sad reflection on the state of citizen involvement in the issues facing our nation. The primary purpose when our major parties get together is to eat, drink, and be merry? With issues like war, the economy, global climate change, the energy crisis, and health care funding, these conventions could be outstanding opportunities for the brightest, most engaged citizens to brainstorm solutions and provide valuable ideas to our elected officials. Instead the opportunity is squandered on glutinous consumption.

  • Mac Wilson

    Smash Mouth are Republicans? Who knew?

    That RIAA bash just makes me sad.

  • Joel

    LeAnne Rimes had no problem using the gays to move from country albums of covers to pop stardom (A duet with Elton John, dance remixes of her “Coyote ugly” songs, openly gay Desmond Child producing an album) but now she is ready to keep Florida red!! Go right ahead (*****)- you think Bubba or Betty Sue own any of your pop crap?