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DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION '96

Quote of the Day?

August 27, 1996

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) made his bid for quote of the day Monday when he confided that as the Democratic convention begins, party leaders are most worried about making a big mistake during their four-day event that Bob Dole could seize on. "In politics," Daschle observed, "only the paranoid survive."

Political Perspective

The following quotes, more than 50 years apart, illustrate the changing nature of the U.S. political convention:

"A national convention is as fascinating as a revival or a hanging. It is vulgar, ugly, stupid and tedious, to be sure, and yet there suddenly comes a show so gaudy and hilarious, so melodramatic and obscene, so unimaginably exhilarating and preposterous that one lives a gorgeous year in an hour."

-- Newspaper columnist H.L. Mencken

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"These days . . . hardly any news gets made at a major-party convention. Like a poorly constructed detective novel, the candidate-selection process now reveals its secrets very early, during the state primaries in the spring of each presidential election year. . . . The summer convention is no longer a dramatic event, but instead a highly scripted, four-day lifestyle advertisement for the nominee . . ."

-- The Weekly Standard, Aug. 5, 1996

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