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Convention fun

March 31st, 2012

For all political watchers out there, I am sure post-Super Tuesday has left us all bewildered and discombobulated. A primary win for Rick Santorum, victory for Mitt Romney, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul still coming up empty.

Still, the Republican nomination is undecided. There is a chance to defeat an incumbent president and the opposition still cannot choose whom to get behind. This is the worst thing that can happen in politics, right?  Depending on how you look at it however, maybe there is an upside.

In recent years, politics has seemed to lose some of its flair and excitement. Sure, we have politicians who behave in bizarre mannerisms and voice absurd rhetoric unseen before, but that is not what draws me.  Where is the competitiveness, the months of long anticipation?

Presidential nominations always seem to get wrapped up so quickly nowadays.

United States election history reveals facts about famous conventions that could not pick a winner. When a decision was not reached, they chose dark horse candidates. These were relative unknowns, some of whom would eventually win and become famous presidents.

Now, I seriously doubt that this will reoccur, but there are lighter examples to take from. Trying to gain an understanding of events such as these, I turned to my father.

He recounted his only memory, when he was 12 years old watching the 1976 Republican Convention with my grandfather.  Their support was split, my grandfather bolting for Ronald Reagan, my dad remaining loyal to President Gerald Ford.

Although my dad’s choice won, he nevertheless concluded that it would have been just as thrilling had the outcome been different.  Taking away my personal partisan feelings or candidate preference, I must say that I could feel this same way today.  The closest I could remember was the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton contest, but even that drama never fully bloomed.

As I said earlier, there are a couple ways of looking at this.

One way is that a potential open convention would be fascinating for my generation of political junkies. On the other hand, this does have the potential to perhaps reinvigorate the Republican Party and its image for voters by November.

Another example is from 2008, when the Democrats fought until June to finally decide on a nominee. This left time for the Americans to already learn of the Republican nominee and grow tired. Meanwhile, when the Democrats did finally decide on Obama as the nominee, it brought a fresh face to the election. By the time November came along, the American people still had not had enough of Obama.

History has a chance to repeat itself again in this election year, only this time it could be for the other side. That being said, as it may not be good for the Republicans at the same time, it is a pendulum that tilts two different ways.

But regardless of what this could potentially do for the outcome in November, I cannot deny that this could be what makes politics fascinating, right into the 21st century.