'Relic' Conventions to Host Huge Political Shifts

Obama, McCain both aim to redirect parties
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2008 12:16 AM CDT
Work crews put the finishing touches on the podium at the site of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The presidential nominees are already decided—so why have conventions? “Money and publicity," Bill Schneider writes on CNN. Gala events are prime opportunities to milk donors, and high visibility has led “both parties try to control every minute of the convention as if it were a television show—because it is a television show.” But this year, writes Schneider, the convention hoopla hides two major shifts.

Both candidates are trying to reshape their parties, and not make a fuss about it. Barack Obama aims to hijack the modern Democratic Party, a Bill Clinton creation, with a movement for change. And McCain needs to snatch back the GOP, still nostalgic for Reagan, with his more progressive, reform-minded Republicanism, Schneider writes.