Salena Zito

Those policies are a direct plea to the eyes and ears of Reagan Democratic voters, the majority of whom went for Hillary Clinton in the primary contests.

Both Obama and McCain will pitch hard for those voters on the convention floor. They know that in battleground states, the Reagan-Democrat swing voting bloc will determine this November election.

Invoking a party platform is one method of branding, but the ultimate branding comes from a candidate's words and the "message" that appears in a candidate's or party's media.

And while platforms can be harmful, they also can be helpful.

According to Siegel, a perfect scenario for Republicans' harmful/helpful nature is the difficulty they will have appealing to Hillary's female supporters, if the party adopts a strong right-to-life plank. "That platform plank will be waived in the face of Democratic women (and) feminists as one very important reason to 'come home,' " he said.

In other words, platforms matter - and, just like a boomerang circling around, platforms can hit back, if a party doesn't live up to its promises.

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.