Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Convention Trivia:

The first official political Convention: Anti-Masonic party, 1831

The first Major Party con: The Democrats 1832, which nominated Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.

Most chaotic inside:

The Democrats:1924, which went on for two and a half weeks and a hundred and three ballots.

The Republicans: 1920, which went ten ballots and had to resort to the famous "smoke filled room." Also, the delegates revolted and the designated VP candidate was canned in favor of Calvin Coolidge, who was quite surprised with the whole deal.

Most chaotic outside: The Democrats 1968, the riots made history.

Republicans 1972. The riots, which were almost as bad, and were not televised.

Least chaotic: Republicans 1988, no opposition allowed, no riots outside

Last time a convention went past the first ballot for anything:

The Democrats 1956,
Adlai Stevenson declared the second spot open and Estes Kefauver beat John F. Kennedy after the latter nearly won on the second ballot.

The Republicans 1952,
When the second ballot was about to begin, the delegates from the several states demanded to retroactively change their votes to Eisonhower, who was ten votes short of a majority at the end of the first.

Last Time there was a roll-call vote for Vice-President:

The Democrats: 1980, when the Kennedy people scattered their votes among dozens of people, the count was never completed and Fritz Mondale was declared nominated by acclamation sometime in the afternoon.

The Republicans 1984, when Jack Kemp and Jeane Kirkpatrick got one vote each.

Meanest act at a convention in the last twelve years:

Republicans: In 1992, New Hampshire was not allowed to vote as many of the delegates were pledged to vote for Pat Buchanan.

Democrats: When the Bill Bradley delegates were told they couldn’t vote for him after the candidate withdrew from the race in 2000. They voted for Gore.

Meanest act at a convention PERIOD:

In 1976, the Carter people kicked all the low-level volunteers from the nomination party, including me.

Last time a nominee refused the nomination:

Frank Lowden refused to become Calvin Coolidge’s running mate and was replaced by Charles Dawes. The debacle of 1972, when a dozen or so candidates refused George McGovern’s offer of vice presidency, doesn’t count as Lowden was actually nominated and they were not.

The Coolest convention of all time:

The 1940 Republican convention, which was wide open and Wendell Willkie came out of nowhere to take it on the sixth ballot. A bunch of kids took over the whole thing and had FDR not been the Democratic nominee, they would have gone all the way.

For the Democrats, it’s a tie between 1976, which went perfectly on the floor, and 1992, where I had a real blast.1980 was way cool too, but for different reasons.

The UNcoolest convention of all time:

A tie between the Republicans in 1964 and 1992. The former was mean and chaotic and the latter was mean and fascistic. Goldwater did better than Bush, Sr. HA!!!

The last time Space Aliens had a major impact on a nomination:

In 1944, Vice President Henry A. Wallace was going on to the leadership of the Democratic party about the "Ascended White Masters of the Himalayas" This was the last straw and they convinced President Roosevelt to allow them to replace him with Sen. Harry S Truman of Missouri.

Last time someone was nominated as a joke:

William Wheeler, a nonentity from upstate New York got the second spot when some people in his delegation decided to put his name into nomination as a lark. He was Vice President of the United States from 1877 to 1881.

William E. Miller got the 1964 veep nod because Barry Goldwater thought he "drove LBJ nuts," which may have been a joke, too.

Most obscure major ticket:

The Democrats nominated Alton B.Parker, chief judge of the NY court of Appeals for President in 1904 because nobody else wanted it. His running mate Henry Davis, was expected to pay for the campaign. He didn’t.

Last time brothers got votes for president at the same convention:

Democrats: William Jennings Bryan and his brother Charley, 1924.

Republicans: Nelson and Winthrop Rockefeller, 1968.

Brothers who were actually nominated:

William Jennings Bryan (president 1896, 1900, and 1908) and his brother Charley (VP 1924)

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