Dems Play Follow the GOP on Convention Dates

I mentioned at Lunch Buffet that Democrats–who have not yet decided where to hold their 2016 national convention–have announced it will be on the week of July 25, wherever it is. That’s the week after the GOP convention in Cleveland, as announced last Thursday.

I have to admit I’m surprised and a bit puzzled by the Democratic announcement, and the speed with which it was made after the GOP decision. There was a pretty good case for going later, after the Summer Olympics in Rio end on August 21. That would give Dems the final post-convention “bounce,” while preserving the opportunity to step on the GOP “bounce” by announcing the Veep candidate immediately after the Cleveland event, as Republicans did in 2008. And in any event, why the rush in picking a date when the location hasn’t been nailed down?

I dunno. There’s been a lot of vague talk about earlier conventions meaning earlier access to “general election funds,” but it’s not clear what that means in the context of (a) neither candidate, and certainly not the Democratic candidate, accepting public money in 2016, and (b) the steadily declining importance of “hard money,” the kind bound by individual contribution limits that can be overcome when the primary cycle gives way to the general. If this were 1996, the talk would make more sense.

Maybe someone in the Democratic power structure will come forward and explain this decision before it’s forgotten about for a while. There’s always the chance it’s just wrong.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.