Political conventions used to be exciting and serve a purpose: namely, picking presidential candidates.
These days, the confabs are little more than big parties for donors and activists, with virtually no utility beyond being three- or four-day informercials for the Republicans and the Democrats.
And now, even those two functions are being threatened.
To recap, over the past two weeks:
●A significant hurricane forced Republicans to cancel the first day of their convention.
●Also citing weather, Democrats moved their final day’s session from a football stadium to a basketball arena, rendering the tickets of thousands of attendees worthless.
●Academy Award-winner Clint Eastwood turned the GOP convention stage into his personal improv club.
●At least three Democratic convention attendees compared Republicans to Nazis.
●Two GOP attendees threw nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and compared her to an animal.
●Both Republicans and Democrats conducted party business in a manner that would make Vladimir Putin proud, ignoring protests over voice votes that were either pretty darn close (in the GOP’s case) or clearly insufficient (in the Democrats’ case).
Democratic convention Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa fumbling through three voice votes — and clearly disregarding the final breakdown — was easily the most painful scene of the past two weeks.
●Mitt Romney became the rare presidential candidate who got very little lift in the polls in the days after his convention.
●Similarly, even as the Democrats walked away happy with their effort this past week, a dismal jobs report on Friday undercut whatever momentum they may have gotten out of Charlotte.
At this point, both parties need to rethink how to conduct conventions. Yes, the parties need to gather every once in a while. But this is getting ridiculous.
Political conventions, for having your already-ambiguous raison d’être called even further into question, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.