Political conventions are usually quadrennial affairs used to officially nominate a party's candidate for president and vice president and adopt its political platform. At the state and county levels, conventions are used to nominate or select candidates for state, county, or district elections.

These conventions, which are attended by elected officials, delegates and activists, also provide an opportunity for the party leadership to disseminate information on election strategy. In addition, conventions offer an unrivaled networking platform for its participants.

At its infancy, national conventions are wholly responsible for electing a party's presidential and vice-presidential nominees. However, the introduction of the modern state and county level primaries and caucuses have somewhat diluted the clout of conventions, and instead, turned them into a media event - albeit one that offers a powerful post-convention 'bounce' for the nominees.

, Pennsylvania
Wells Fargo Center and The Pennsylvania Convention Center
July 25-28 2016

The coronation of Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party this week has suddenly been overshadowed by WikiLeaks’ release of 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments belonging to high-ranking staffers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The 4,769 delegates that have been arriving in The City of Brotherly Love over the weekend (as well as the American public) have been fed a steady stream of embarrassing revelations by the media.

The emails, which are believed to have originated from hacks to DNC servers in May 2016 by Russian hacking teams Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, have already led to the resignation of DNC Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz after several internal correspondences appear to confirm allegations that the DNC were favoring the candidacy of Secretary Clinton over her primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Sen. Sanders, who has been vindicated by the disclosure, has chosen to remain magnanimous and thanked Rep. Wasserman Schultz “for her years of service.” The Florida Representative also received complimentary remarks from President Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

Although her resignation will only take effect after the convention, Rep. Wasserman Schultz will neither speak nor play an active role in the convention. DNC vice chair Donna Brazile has taken over as acting convention chair while Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge will be taking over the chairmanship of the Rules Committee.

There are still concerns though that a segment of Sen. Sanders supporters will hold disruptive protests against the party leadership throughout the week. However, in an email to supporters, Sen. Sanders has scheduled a meeting with his 1,900 delegates on Monday morning, which will probably dampen any major scheduled protests.

The convention will begin unofficially on Monday morning at the nearby Philadelphia Convention Center with meetings between several caucuses and working groups. Interim convention chair Donna Brazile will open the convention officially at the Wells Fargo Center at about 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

Aside from social activists and elected officials, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the convention will play host to a number of A-list actors, musicians and sportsmen including NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Collins brothers (Jason and Jarron), actors Bryan Cranston, Chloe Grace Moretz, Eva Longoria and Tony Goldwyn, and singer Demi Lovato.

More on the 2016 Democratic National Convention

, Ohio
Quicken Loans Arena
July 18-21 2016

2016 Republican National Convention
Recap of Day 4, Thursday, July 21, 2016

Theme: Make America One Again

Before we do a recap of the fourth and final day of the 2016 Republican National Convention, can we just first acknowledge how hella good (see, we can be hip too) the G.E. Smith-led house band has been at the convention? Their covers of AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long and The Beatles’ Eight Days A Week, in particular, were great.

Cleveland’s law enforcement officials, Board of Control and Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, Inc. also deserve plenty of pats on the shoulders for their excellent organization of protesters in the city over the past week. Considering the numerous scraps seen throughout the primary season, there were unspoken concerns that the convention will be overshadowed by events outside the Quickens Loan Arena. In the end, the convention will be remembered as one of the smoothest managed ever.

Inside the conventional hall, the evening’s proceedings began with a nod towards Donald Trump’s evangelical base with Pastors Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Mark Burns taking up three of the first four speaking slots to expound on the party’s core values.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, NFL legend Fran Tarkenton, motivational speakers Brock Mealer, basketball coach Bobby Knight, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Dr. Lisa Shin of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, and RNC chairman Reince Priebus then took turns to prime the crowd for the keynote address that everyone was waiting for.

However, before that, the convention hall was treated to two powerful and effective speeches by billionaire businessmen Peter Thiel and Tom Barrack that probably swayed quite a number of undecided voters for Mr. Trump. Mr. Thiel also memorably became the first person to include sexual orientation in a Republican convention speech.

“I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American. I don't pretend to agree with every plank in our party's platform. But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline.” – Peter Thiel

“I have nothing negative to say about Hillary - I only have amazing things to say about Donald.” – Tom Barrack

The lovely Ivanka Trump took the stage next with a very strategic speech designed to appeal to women voters – although she did cause a few moments of anxiety to an audience still fresh from the Ted Cruz drama of Day 3 when she claimed to be neither Republican nor Democrat. However, her obvious love and admiration for her father soon won the crowd over, and the stage was finally set for Mr. Trump.

“I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat. More than party affiliation, I vote based on what I believe is right for my family and my country.” – Ivanka Trump

“Real change, the kind we have not seen in decades, is only going to come from outside the system, and it's only going to come from a man who has spent his entire life doing what others said could not be done.” – Ivanka Trump

Mr. Trump’s 1 hour and 16 minutes speech, which is the longest presidential nomination acceptance speech in the country’s history, was a masterful blend of facts and emotional appeal. He outlined his case with specifics on crime, unemployment, trade deficit, foreign policy and immigration. He painted a picture of the depressing current reality, and contrasted it with his triumphant vision of the future.

If Mr. Trump was aiming for a powerful post-convention bounce with his speech, then he is definitely going to be pleasantly surprised by the polls over the next week. By the end of his speech, no one present in the Quickens Loan Arena will doubt that he will Make America Great Again – just like the late Ronald Reagan did during his two terms in office. Incidentally, Mr. Reagan also used the same slogan in his successful run for the White House in 1980.

“Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.” – Donald Trump

“I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.” – Donald Trump

After Mr. Trump has concluded his speech, he was joined on stage by his family, and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (and his family) as the sky opened up and 125,000 balloons and confetti rained down on the delegates. Outside of the arena, the people of Cleveland were treated to a beautiful fireworks display that lighted up the night sky.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are now primed and ready for the general election this November.

More on the 2016 Republican National Convention

, Florida
Rosen Centre Hotel & Resort
May 27-29 2016

987 delegates from all across the nation convened at the Rosen Centre Hotel & Resort in Orlando, Florida between July 25 and 28 for the 2016 Libertarian National Convention. Top on the agenda in Orlando is the election of the party’s nominee for president and vice president for the 2016 presidential election.

Strong anti-establishment sentiments pervading the current national political landscape has fueled the Libertarian Party’s recent surge in popularity, and selecting the right candidates could see the party breaking the 15% polling threshold and participate in the presidential debates for the first time in its young history.

True to form, it became a contested convention when strong showings by libertarian activist Austin Petersen, riding on the #neverJohnson wave, and anti-virus legend John McAfee, probably aided by his awesome campaign videos, prevented favorite Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, from securing the nomination on the first round of voting. Gov. Johnson clinched the nomination after winning the second ballot by capturing 56% of the delegates. However, his victory was marred when it was discovered that he threw away a replica of George Washington's Flintock pistol gifted by Mr. Petersen. Gov. Johnson was probably still smarting from several exchanges with Mr. Petersen during their presidential debates. The pair has since exchanged complimentary messages on the social media, suggesting they have buried the hatchet.

More on the 2016 Libertarian National Convention

Brokered and Contested Democratic Conventions

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
July 25-28 2016

Democratic National Convention Homepage
Convention Schedule Party Platform
Convention Speeches Party Merchandise

 Democratic Convention Schedule
Monday, July 25, 2016  |  United Together

Tuesday, July 26, 2016  |  A Lifetime Of Fighting ...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 |  Working Together

Thursday, July 28, 2016  |  Stronger Together

 Democratic Convention Speeches
Joe Biden    (Wednesday)
Bill Clinton    (Tuesday)
Chelsea Clinton    (Thursday)
Hillary Clinton    (Thursday)
Jesse Jackson    (Wednesday)
Tim Kaine    (Wednesday)
Michelle Obama    (Monday)
Barack Obama    (Wednesday)
Bernie Sanders    (Monday)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz    (Monday)
All 2016 Democratic Convention Speakers
 Republican Convention Recap
  Resolutions Committee Convenes
July 11-12, 2016  |  Party Platform Drafted

  Rules Committee Convenes
July 14-15, 2016  |  Convention Rules Adopted

Monday, July 18, 2016  |  Make America Safe Again

Tuesday, July 19, 2016  |  Make America Work Again

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 |  Make America First Again

Thursday, July 21, 2016  |  Make America One Again

 Republican Convention Speeches
Scott Baio
Kimberlin Brown
Mark Burns
Dr. Ben Carson
Chris Christie
David A. Clarke Jr.
Ted Cruz
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Laura Ingraham
Marcus Luttrell
Mike Pence
Marco Rubio
Paul Ryan
Fran Tarkenton
Peter Thiel
Melania Trump
Eric Trump
Tiffany Trump
Donald Trump, Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Donald J. Trump
Scott Walker
All 2016 Republican Convention Speakers
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