GOP Convention | Cleveland July 18-21
"Why The Republican Convention Could Get Dangerous," a Vice article, was one of my many reads while riding shotgun in Ryan Lemond's car during the five-hour drive to Cleveland the Sunday evening before the RNC's opening day. I had hoped to brush up on my knowledge of conventions, presidential elections and the Republican party, but seemingly everything on the internet that week was about the potential danger ahead, not the event itself. One pre-RNC report said media members planned to wear body armor while working the convention; another predicted it would be the most dangerous of all-time, coming on the heels of tragedy and tension all over the country. That was not the case, thankfully. In fact, from what I saw, the streets were mostly peaceful, considering the hype, and the threat of violence was nowhere to be found. It was quite the opposite of what was predicted as Cleveland was pretty much a ghost town, with the locals staying inside, downtown businesses closed for the week, and a very underwhelming turnout of protesters. Streets were lined with police officers, who were all overly friendly to everyone out-and-about, and the protesters stayed in their lane in the designated protesting area. Sure, there were a couple bad apples in the bunch, but I don't think the city of Cleveland could've asked for a better four days, given the circumstances. Kudos to everyone involved. As for the action inside the arena and during our own personal experiences, well, I learned a whole lot and had a lot more fun than I ever imagined. Let me tell you about some of it... "A sports show? Why are you here? I don't understand." We couldn't get anyone to grasp why a sports show was at the Republican convention. To be fair, it doesn't make sense at all, but we thought at least someone would understand. We did not meet that someone. Everyone we encountered, from our fellow talk show hosts on radio row to the delegates we met on the convention floor, responded the same: "You cover sports? Why are you here?" We were there to make great radio, something the conservative shows stationed around us were unable to do. You couldn't pay me to listen to any of those people -- outside of Ray Richardson, ladies and gentlemen. We love his show. Scottie Nell Hughes named us the Frat Boys of Radio Row. I couldn't tell if Scottie, a Trump surrogate, liked us or hated us. I think she hated us. Ryan, your thoughts on the Republican handbook?
Democratic National Convention | Philadelphia July 25-28
The Democratic National Convention was everything the RNC was not. It had star power. There were celebrities everywhere. It had the POTUS, the FLOTUS and Katy Perry. We saw more stars in 30 minutes at the DNC than in the entire four days in Cleveland, and it wasn't even close. There was much more diversity across the delegations, too. Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center was a completely different scene than the one in Cleveland, with completely different talking points and themes throughout the convention, as expected. But where Philly was the place for the stars, it failed to match the GOP convention's organization and order. To put it simply, the DNC, at least behind the scenes, was one big cluster-you-know-what. It was a logistical nightmare... Uber and traffic planners really dropped the ball. Getting out of the arena and back to civilization was damn near impossible. If you stayed through the final speaker, you weren't leaving the premises for at least an hour, if lucky. Uber had one pick-up/drop-off location with hundreds of people standing in one tent, trying to hail a car through the app. Those lucky enough to catch a ride then waited through one-lane traffic to get out. Meanwhile, plenty of concrete and road sat empty and closed off in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, home of the Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Xfinity Live!. With all of that event space and the surrounding parking lots, you'd think the city would know how to handle getting people in and out, even with security concerns. The RNC's location in downtown Cleveland made it MUCH EASIER to get around, leaving much more time for extracurricular activities. We did not party. (Sad face.) The DNC was to be the week we really got after it outside of the convention. The city was full of parties and we have better connections with Democrats, so we planned to go on very little sleep all week long. But the aforementioned logistical nightmare ruined any fun we could've had because we never got free until after midnight with an 8:30 am car ride back to the arena each morning. It also didn't help that some of the parties were across the state line in New Jersey. Maybe I'll catch ya next time, Snoop Dogg. BOYZ II MEN!!!!!!!
Overall, both conventions were a blast for this nonpartisan and they opened my eyes to the whole process and more about the current candidates. I'll spare you that conversation -- you have Facebook for those discussions -- but thanks again to all who enjoyed and tolerated KSR At The Conventions. That being said, Stoney-Franklin is the only choice this November! Get out there and vote for us!