Do We Even Need Political Conventions Like the RNC Anymore?


Monday morning on MSNBC, Tom Brokaw indicated that political conventions — like the Republican National Convention in Tampa — have lost their usefulness.

In the United States, a political convention usually refers to a presidential nominating convention, but it can also refer to state, county, or congressional district nominating conventions. In Canada, a political convention is held to choose a party leader is often known as a leadership convention.

The first political convention held in America took place in Hartford, Connecticut in March 1766.

Before the three-day RNC extravaganzas begin, for instance, the candidates have already been selected, the platforms negotiated, and the bulk of campaign funds have been committed. Frankly, there are no reasons why anyone should tune in until the presidential candidate him (or, hopefully down the line, herself) speaks on the last day. 

Brokaw suggested a one-day affair and a series of rallies across the country at sports stadiums connected to the convention by satellite. This, he said would energize the process. It’s a novel idea.

Weigh in: What ideas do you have to make the conventions more relevant? Is the current convention system as we know if broken?