On the Republican side, I guess the most interesting thing will be whether the mini-convention being held by Congressman Ron Paul -- the one that's pre-sold over 8,000 tickets so far -- will have more actual convention participants than the GOP convention, which will be limited to 5,000 delegates and alternates. (There will be nearly 40,000 people all told, but most will just be glorified partisan partiers.)
With Barack Obama losing some steam in national polls, one wonders if his determination to present himself as a rock star in a football stadium when he makes his acceptance speech will help him, or only leave the impression that he is all flash and no grit.
And we can count on the GOP to gives us the same tired proceedings as always. Believe me, I've been behind the scenes at those things. Break through glazed crust and it's the same stale pie.
The big loser will be the American people. They'll hear nothing but canned messages, and will be left with less than two months to scrape off the glitter and grease paint from the candidates and see their true faces.
What we need are more televised debates and forums in which the two candidates -- as opposed to only media questioners -- are allowed to poke and prod each other for weaknesses and concrete policies. To his credit, John McCain asked for just such events. To his credit, Obama realized he could get knocked out of the ring early if he agreed to go toe-to-toe with McCain more than a handful of times.
Regardless, you won't need sleeping pills after the Olympics end. Just turn on the conventions, and you'll be out like a light.
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