A prominent Iowa Republican and a key Iowa Democrat both say it’s time to shorten the national political conventions. Steve Roberts of Des Moines is a member of the Republican National Committee, and he says a four-day-long convention is a little much since everyone knows the outcome.Roberts says the conventions are expensive to put on, and events could probably be staged in two days rather than four, which he says “it’s a waste of time” to have a four-day convention. Roberts says the conventions have become little more than a massive ad campaign. Roberts says “unfortunately some of the powers that be at the national level that run these conventions think they’re putting on a great show and the public is going to love it.” Rob Tully of Des Moines was chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party in 2000 and was a key backer of John Edwards in the Iowa Caucus campaign. Tully says a four-day-long convention is “kind of silly.” He says at the Democratic National Convention in L.A. in 2000 there were a couple of really boring days, featuring speakers no one knew. Tully says a two-day convention could feature speeches from the President and Vice President and really get the party’s rank-and-file motivated. Tully says in many respects, these modern-day political conventions are little more than long commercial. With fewer Americans paying attention to the conventions and national networks devoting fewer hours of free air time to the events, some question whether the presidential candidates will benefit as much as they have in the past from the exposure. Tully believes Kerry WILL get a “bounce” in the polls after the convention.Tully says there will be people who are paying attention when the major party candidates speak and lay out their vision for the country. Tully and Roberts made their comments during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that will air tonight (Friday) on Iowa Public Television.
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