Aperture magazine at the Republican National Convention, Night 1, Dispatch #2
Texas Delegation. September 1, 2008. Republican National Convention. Xcel Center, St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Allen Spore
David Levi Strauss, Aperture magazine contributing editor, noted writer, and current Chair of MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department, School of Visual Arts, shares his unique perspective via daily dispatches from the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The Calm of the Storm
So far the meeting in St. Paul is the Unconvention, and that may be the best thing that possibly could have happened for the Republicans. Bush & Cheney couldn’t make it? Fantastic! The Republican delegates are, after all, the only people left in the world who still think the current Administration is competent (71% of them approve of Bush’s performance). Much better to have Cindy McCain and Laura Bush (decked out in gold and white, respectively) show up only as fundraisers for hurricane relief efforts, although that line about how it’s time to “take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats” begs the question: are the two mutually exclusive?
The reason for the postponement of the convention was succinctly stated by David Brooks: “They couldn’t afford that split-screen image” of party-hearty Republican celebrations juxtaposed with homeless hurricane survivors recalling Bush/Cheney’s criminal neglect during Katrina. It just wouldn’t look right. Some lobbyists couldn’t help themselves tonight, and threw lavish meet-and-greet-and-bribe parties anyway, but they at least tried to lock out the press.
To fully capitalize on their good luck, the Republican ticket should disappear for the next 68 days, perhaps to Wasilla, or South Assetia.
Filed Monday, Sept. 1, 2008, after the first night of the Republican Convention in St. Paul.