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Saturday, May 22, 2004
More on Deferring the Nomination

By Steven Taylor @ 12:16 pm

Betsy Newmark notes that the idea of deferring the nomination may not site well with Bostonians: i - Election 2004 News: Voters tell senator: `Don’t put us on hold’

Many Bay State voters forced to put up with a week of gridlock because of the Democratic National Convention will consider themselves slapped in the face if Sen. John F. Kerry [related, bio] doesn’t accept the nomination here.

“I think (that would be) a cheap shot from the junior senator to all of his supporters in Massachusetts,'’ said Henry Santoro, who is preparing for the worst as he commutes daily from Brookline to Lynn. “It’s just one of those cases of `Get your ass here and get the job done.’ This is an anybody-but-Bush-state. Do not put us on hold.'’

James Murphy, who runs a painting and contracting company out of Swampscott, said he can’t believe Kerry would snub his homestaters.

“How does a senator of a state - when the DNC is here - not honor his state by declaring his nomination here?'’ said Murphy, 38. “I would wonder whether this, in the long run, is going to work against him. I very well think it could.’

It also occurs to me that this could set off Viet Nam-inspired deferment jokes.

Betsy also notes that the TV folks ain’t none too happy with the idea, either: Democrats’ delay tactic may turn into big TV turnoff

Stalling his presidential nomination might end up costing Sen. John F. Kerry [related, bio] the one thing he really wants at a convention - live prime-time television.

At least one major television network yesterday frowned on the idea of Kerry delaying.

“If this comes to pass, we don’t like hearing about one more piece of news that will not happen at a convention,'’ said Mark Lukasiewicz, executive producer of NBC News’ election coverage.

The more I think about this, the more unlikely it seems.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign

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  1. I think Massachusetts should feel lucky they’ll be spared another one of his long-winded boring speeches.

    Comment by Thomas Galvin — Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 1:06 pm

  2. I agree that it is unlikely.

    On the other hand, they declare themselves an “anyone but Bush” state, so . . . what would they do about it? He’d win Mass by a zillion percent if he showed up drunk with a pair of hookers and cursed out the assembly before mooning them as he left town for “a more important state.”

    Do they have any threat except expressing their stern disapproval?

    Comment by Steven L — Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 5:29 pm

  3. Last time I checked, the whole point of the convention is to nominate a Democratic candidate. Guess what, all of the delegates will still go to Boston and they will nominate John Kerry. John Kerry will still give a speech that will lay out his vision for America (and the candidate’s speech is the only thing anyone ever remembers about these conventions). Kerry’s speech will be the same whether or not he says “I accept your nomination". This convention will be just like every other convention over the past 40 years. I have a feeling that if a Republican did this none of you would have a problem with it.

    By the way, if I remember correctly, before 1932 the nominee did not even appear at the nominating convention.

    Comment by Alabama Politics — Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 8:30 pm

  4. No, no, no - I disagree. It’s highly likely that the Dems will find some loophole to delay the nomination. They’ll do anything to collect and spend more money.

    Comment by Eric Lindholm — Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 9:33 pm

  5. 1 - If there is the remotest possibility of Kerry losing Mass then we don’t even need to bother with the election, no way he’s worried about that side of things.

    2 - Kerry pulled $30 million last month. August will probably be slower, but its a bit more then a month of extra fundraising, boosted by the convention coverage. So another $30 million is probably what they are looking at. They can’t spend that $30 mil after September 1st, or whenever he is “nominated". That means the bulk of that $30 million is going to go straight into TV ads. The networks like $30 million, August is dead in terms of ad buys lots of empty ad space on TV. They will not reduce the convention coverage significantly.

    3- $30 million is a lot of money. They will find a way to keep fundraising as long as Bush can, regardless.

    Comment by Abe — Sunday, May 23, 2004 @ 10:50 am

  6. He’d win Mass by a zillion percent if he showed up drunk with a pair of hookers and cursed out the assembly before mooning them as he left town for “a more important state.”

    You make it sound as if any of that would hurt his chances nationwide.

    Comment by Moe Lane — Sunday, May 23, 2004 @ 12:53 pm

  7. Nononononono!!! IT isn’t about delaying the NOMINATION, it’s delaying the ACCEPTANCE of it. There’s ample precident for that sort of thing going back to the first half of the late century when it was done all the time.

    FDR was the first nominee to actually accept the nomination AT the convention. John Davis was in the room when he was nominated in 1924, but didn’t accpet the nomination until about a month later.

    The first Republican to accept at the convention was Tom Dewey in 1948…the candidates weren’t supposed to be anywhere NEAR the convention, that’s why the presumptive nominees didn’t show up until the last night….

    Oh, yeah, there’s another precident. In 1980, Ronald Reagan showed up to the podium to announce the naming of George Bush, Sr for VP. He Said: I will NOT accept the nomination tonight, that will wait for the proper time…”

    Comment by ericl — Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 8:10 am

  8. Eric,

    All the examples, save Reagan (and I assume that he accepted it later in the convention-indeed, I am fairly positive of it�indeed, at the time of the veep announcement in question, my guess is that the delegates hadn�t voted yet), are all during a different set of institutional rules. The problem here is that the acceptance of the nomination is not linked in the law to the campaign finance system. This changes the legal significance of a deferral. Further, in the TV era there is great symbolic significance to accepting the nomination at the convention.

    And one last thing: in earlier periods it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that a particular person would be nominated, so it is no surprise that they were not necessarily on hand to accept. That was when the convention existed for the sole purpose of nominating a candidates. This process has evolved quite a bit to the point that a convention from the period you are citing simply isn’t comparable.

    Comment by Steven — Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 8:23 am

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