The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Kerry's delayed acceptance plan: how on earth...

It's thinking outside the box, I suppose: the notion that Kerry would hold off from accepting the nomination to enable him to carry on spending his primary campaign funds: as I understand it (CSM May 24), as soon as Kerry accepts, his spending is limited to the $75 million of public money available to each candidate for the general election campaign.

Bush has five extra weeks before the GOP convention to spend under the primary rules. No fair, huh?

Except - this is like post-invasion planning for Iraq! This five week period was known about, when?

I've struggled to get a chronology. I have this - which looks only a month or so old:
Both parties had to work around the 2004 Olympic Games, to be held in Athens, Greece from August 13-29, 2004. DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe had settled on holding the Democrats' convention the week of July 18, 2004. Then the Republicans announced the dates of their convention as August 30-September 2, 2004, the latest a Republican convention has ever been held. (Democrats held a relatively late convention in 1996; their Chicago convention went from Aug. 26-29, 1996). McAuliffe responded by making it clear that he would likely move the Democrats' convention to a later date to create the best possible conditions for the party's nominee.

The dates for the Dem convention are now July 26-29. Which leads one to wonder, if they could be moved by a fortnight, why not to September 6-9?

The GOP announced its dates in January 2003 - when had Dems decided on theirs?

At the very least, the problem has been around for fourteen months: are we asked to believe that it's only just struck Dem rocket scientists?

I've no idea what's going on. But perhaps demonstrating clearly the Emperor's nakedness is intended to lead to reform - getting together with the TV guys to come up with a cheaper, shorter format with some actual political punch, something that's actually worthwhile from everyone's viewpoint. Rather than the monumentally boring, interminable festival of bloviation with all the substance of the ceremonies of the State Opening of Parliament in Britain.

However, to judge from a Dem operative quoted in the LA Times, the Neanderthal tendency ought not to be underestimated:
If delegates were deprived of the traditional coronation of the presidential nominee, many would be alienated from the campaign



On the merits of the plan - the broadcasters are squealing; well, NBC, to be precise (according to the Boston Herald - May 22).

My understanding is that the networks don't exactly provide gavel-to-gavel coverage at the moment [1]. Would the networks pull out altogether?

There's tradition - and these are as much bureaucracies, working on the never do anything for the first time principle, as they are businesses - and competition. And FCC media concentration rules.

And the news networks would be there, surely.

Perhaps if they limited coverage to Kerry's speech, everyone would come out ahead.

  1. The Boston Globe (April 27) says ABC/CBS/NBC total coverage fell from 20 hours in 1992 to 11 hours in 2000. That's around an hour per night per network.

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