Political Debate: Which Convention 'Won'?

Democratic ConventionIf you've been keeping up with our political posts and videos here on The Stir over the last two weeks, you know that things have been a little crazy around here!

Our Moms Matter crew went to the Republican and Democratic conventions, where we interviewed legislators, cabinet members, celebrities, delegates, and everyday moms. We also held mom panels at each convention, both of which were televised on HLN. And we wrote about it (and will be writing more this week) here on The Stir.

The conventions officially launched the election season for millions of Americans, so we decided to ask our political bloggers this week which convention was best and why. And while I can already guess each of our bloggers' answers, I'm sure their posts will lead to plenty of interesting (and hopefully civil) discussion.

In the meantime, though, which convention was your favorite? Let us know in the comments of this post!

From my perspective, each convention had its merits and drawbacks.

The Republican convention had an insider-y feel from start to finish. The perimeter of the convention was heavily guarded by armed troops and, as a result, downtown Tampa was deserted except for delegates, politicians, "honored guests," and media. The lack of diversity in this group was palpable -- yes, I am a middle class white person, but on a personal level, by the end of the week, I was sick and tired of being surrounded by middle class white people. That's something I had never thought much about before GOP convention week!

On the upside, as a reporter, the ease of getting from location to location was wonderful. The fact that the only people there were people with official convention business made coverage a breeze. HLN graciously shared its camera platform with us on the floor of the convention, so we had an incredible view of the speeches. And it was truly amazing to see some of these speeches in person. Ann Romney was charming and came across as someone you'd want to know, Clint Eastwood was entertaining and bizarre, and Mitt Romney gave, I thought, the best speech of his candidacy. And the balloon/confetti drop was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life.

Republican Convention

The Democratic convention was a totally different experience. It opened with a family-friendly festival that set the tone for the entire week. The public was a big part of this convention -- all week long, thousands of people milled around outside the arena and convention center, from families to protesters to street vendors to curious onlookers. The diversity of the crowd was markedly different from the crowd at the GOP convention. But while I loved the inclusiveness, it made for a much more disorganized and crowded convention. It was very difficult to get from place to place and the arena was so crowded that at times, I worried for my safety. On the night of President Obama's speech, the arena was actually locked down because of overcrowding, and our photographers very nearly missed the president's speech! Good times, people. Good times.

Michelle Obama

Once again, the speeches themselves were stellar. Michelle Obama gave, I thought, the best speech of both conventions. Gabby Giffords made me cry when she gave the pledge of allegiance. John Kerry was a surprise hit. President Obama's speech, though solid, was not his best. I've seen him speak three times now this year, and I have to say, I think his speech at a campaign stop in Jacksonville was far more passionate and charismatic than his convention speech. Check out our coverage of the Jacksonville speech here and see for yourself.

Here's what our political bloggers have to say about them:

Democrats Trump Republicans In Representing America

The American Voter Won at the Conventions

Democratic National Convention Inspired Me More than the DNC

DNC vs. RNC: And the Winner Is ...

Democratic National Convention Didn't Change My Vote



2012 election, democratic national convention, republican national convention


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wamom223 wamom223

I'm scared I already know whats coming.  The bloggers have already blogged about the conventions so I think we know what we are gonna get, a whole bunch of blogs saying the DNC was better and one or two that say the RNC was better.  This may be the only blog that covers the pro's and con's of both sides.  I really don't care which one was better,  I care about who will do a better job saving my country, and I think that is Romney backed by a Republican congress.  

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Glad you acknowledged the pros and cons of each convention. Good reporting since you were not making assumptions since you were actually at both conventions and gave them a fair chance. I actually think people give too much weight to the conventions; they think they're more important than they really are.

worms... wormspoop

Screw them both. Ron Paul's "Freedom Rally" blew them both out of the water.

Renee Dutton

It's time for a change! Talking and thinking up plans is just not enough! I believe Mitt has what it takes to get this country back up and running...doesn't mean it will be easy.

Shana Stockburger

I have a daughter, and gay friends. I would never vote for a party that thought they were "less than" regardless of how "fun" their convention was. I care about the economy and jobs, but the past proves it's actually democrats that create more jobs, so if that's your reason, Obama is your man. I personally always put social reasons before money. Money means very little to me, if I can't get healthcare, and my daughter is being told by the President that she isn't worth the money of my son. I have no choice but to vote for Obama. Not doing so would be turning my back on my daughter, my sons, and my friends, and also my country. I was given the gift of an Ivy League college education based on merit. I need to give back. Voting for a President with real moral fibre is part of that.

Katie Page

The Presidency is not the place for a 'learning curve' or on the job training. Our current leadership has had 4 years to make a go of it - and has really fallen short of fixing American's economic, employment, security, and keeping the fabric of what is fundamental to being American in good stead. I don't care who the opponent on the other side is - I would vote for anyone to try and do better.
I resent however, the characterization that the GOP convention was 'white'. It is insulting to me and insulting to the breadth of speakers there and it is insulting to the press pool pictures I saw of a broad delegation. There was not a cutaway at a delegation that did not include diversity. Diversity was the FOCUS of who was asked to speak. I have had a Conservative viewpoint my whole life, but that Convention made me PROUD to once again say I'm a Republican. I'm excited for the young, energetic, diversion direction this party is heading. Though it was a nice attempt at covert spin on the author's behalf.

Lois Neve

I did not see both conventions. The hype on both sides can be overwhelming. I hear alot of what people feel and believe -- but I don't see how a small government can create jobs and I have not heard anyone make a real case for that. I wish someone could explain to me what exactly Romney would do to improve the job situation. Wall street is up and it is still not trickling down... Would like to see a factualy based debate on what each of the parties would like to see happen and how they would do it - and pointing to some historical references that would prove their case. Leaving the frying pan because it is hot does not help if it results in jumping into the fire. Maybe the reality is that people on each side are really interested in very different realities and value very different things. Now that would be an interesting conversation as well ----

Becky Ertel

I’m a Dem & I own that bias. However, I also correlated the speeches with fact-checkers like Politifact & FactCheck.org.  The RNC engaged in far more distortions & downright lies. Rep Ryan is famously most guilty. Mitt Romney gave his best speech in terms of delivery, but content was meager. He made claims about what he would do without sketching out the "policies" proposed to achieve those goals.  Criticized for not mentioning the war in Afghan, he claimed  he spoke about his Afghan policy the day before, but fact-checking puts the lie to this defense. He mentioned Afghan in this speech, but gave no detail whatsoever. Post-convention, he & Rep. Ryan were criticized for failing to explain how their budget can include significant tax cuts without incurring painful & economically harmful cuts to domestic spending. So far, they have refused to identify even one loophole with any significant revenue potential to close. Former Pres. Clinton had more detail in one speech than the entire RNC. On planning & showmanship, the DNC was far better. On content, the DNC was more detailed & more accurate. On inclusiveness, the DNC looked more like America. The RNC had a better balloon drop. If the main criticism of the DNC is that it was crowded & due to that, appeared less organized, if I were the organizers of both, I'd much prefer that criticism.

Debbie Hopkins Bosak

You may think that we have all forgotten that the Republican convention took place during a hurricane which would account for the lack of people milling around outside. And you may hope that we forgot about Mia Love's, Allen West's, Suzana Martinez's, and many other's of ethnic diversities, speeches.They present the other side of the spectrum, relying on their own ability to get where they have gone in life. I feel the most believable and profound speech was of the elderly couple who told of Mitt Romney's relationship with their dying son. If you didn't cry during that then I don't know how Gabby Giffords could make you cry.The Democrats trot out the biggest womanizer ever yet they accuse Republicans of waging a war on women. I wonder who Gennifer Flowers or Juanita Broderick would say has waged a war on women. Free birth control and free abortions are NOT what is going to save the future of America and they are NOT what this election is about. - voters are selfish and should think more about  our children's futures and less about themselves. And @Shana, in one breath you accuse Romney of not wanting to pay your daughter the same as a man and in the other breath, you say you don't care about money. Which is it?

nonmember avatar Libby Madar

Gov. Gary Johnson should be America's President 2012 to totally put this Country in a positive direction, with balanced budget and futures for our kids and grandkids. Why is everyone so ignorant or scared to give a person like Gov. Johnson just 4 years to prove himself. I have never voted for a 3rd party candidate in my life but I am totally impressed with Gov. Johnson. Don't you see it is just ping pong with the D & R's......This Country is in DRASTIC TROUBLE and it is going to take someone who left a two-term office with a $1B Surplus to make it happen. Does everyone have blinders and ear plugs in????

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