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ON all this election hoopla going on ...... Neal Mulligan neal karenmulligan@rcn.com Marcene,
I certainly would agree with you that these long campaigns for the presidency are drawn out and cause people to lose interest but national conventions are quite necessary. Eliminate them and even less discipline will be the result. The conventions choose not only the nominees for pres and veep but the national chairman, who if the nominee doesn't win, becomes the chief dispenser of patronage for the next four years. They also choose national committeemen who serve fairly important functions. These people raise money, pay bills, and prepare positions to be heard and voted on in the next convention. These are important jobs. These jobs and the people who do the leg work, hold the hearings etc. provide a source of party loyalists who the next elected president can turn to. They will wind up with everything from secretariat positions to White House staffers. There is no other place for these folks to cut their teeth. I'm afraid without them, you'd have even more corruption then at present and far less competency, sad to say; not to mention even longer campaigns for public office.
The system in the first half of the century gave us some very solid candidates, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, Wilson, Taft and Teddy Roosevelt as well as some very fine non-winners. Since TV and the democratic primaries we have not fared as well, Carter Dukakis to name just two lightweights. I like the conventions, don't watch them anymore because the commentators will not shut up. I can turn off the sound at a football game but I need and want to hear the speeches so I'm stuck listening to an ass like Cokie Roberts tell me what a fine speech I'm hearing. They are all TIME MAGAZINE in motion.
But that's just my opinion and I could be wrong.

Neal



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