Political theater like the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are a big swamp of blerrgghhh to me. My opinion is that it’s all just a dog-and-pony show and not really the best way to get to know a candidate, their viewpoints, or their cronies at all.
But yes, it’s still a big to-do. What happens is important in the sense that it gets a lot of press coverage. So in the interest of being a well-informed member of the populace, here are 5 things to know about what happened at last night’s Republican National Convention:
- Ann Romney gave the main speech of the evening, in which she sought to humanize her husband with personal stories about their life together (they had a “real marriage,” not a “storybook marriage”) as well as appeal to women. Specifically Ann Romney appealed to women who are mothers, with her speech focusing on the “I’m a mom just like you!” tone. [Pundit Mom, Talking Points Memo, Florida Today]
- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was on hand for the “rah-rah-rah families!” portion of the evening in which he groused about the “assault on marriage and the family” [translation: GAYS!] and how “marriage is disappearing” among the poor. [Talking Points Memo]
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also gave a speech which began right off the bat also trying to appeal to women with by describing his parents’ marriage thusly: “In the automobile, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.” [translation: I'm not afraid of strong women!] You can read the whole text of Christie’s speech at the link. [Politico]
- A CNN official has confirmed that two attendees allegedly threw peanuts at a black CNN camera woman and said “This is how we feed animals.” The two people, whose identities and reasons for being at the convention are unknown, were removed from the premises. [Slate, Talking Points Memo]
- When a Puerto Rican representative Zoraida Fonalledas got up to speak in her heavily accented English, the crowd started chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” for a whole minute. Jack Kitt, a reporter from Harper’s described that some folks around him were dumbstruck by the chant, writing “None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. ” (Ultimately the RNC chairman stepped in and asked people to quiet down.) It’s been disputed that the “U.S.A” chants were actually meant to quell dissenting chants from Ron Paul supporters who were upset that they had been singled out. [Updated: Both NBC and Gawker say the chants were, in fact, trying to shut up Ron Paul supporters. Oh, Ron Paul supporters.] [Harper’s]
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will speak this evening, and well, I for one don’t even want to know what he’s going to say about abortion rights, if anything.
Obviously these are just five things that happened last night. Feel free to share any other links (or titles of links, if Disqus is being annoying) in the comments.