Be it ever so humble...

It’s good to be back in Southern California after a week in the hothouse of Tampa.  I mean that in both the weather and political senses.
Even though we were largely inside from 9 in the morning to 11 at night, every trip outside provided exposure to extreme humidity and more than 90-degree temperatures.  Couple that with a long wait through security to get back into the building and there wasn’t much incentive to go anywhere.
On the political side, I forget (or block out) how intense these party conventions can be.  It’s an alternate universe, where most everyone recognizes even minor national political figures.  It’s like walking through Beverly Hills with an editor from People magazine.
It makes me feel at a bit of a disadvantage, as a generalist who talks a lot of politics, but doesn’t devote himself to it exclusively.  When you hear some of the political reporters from around the country, there are times it sounds more like advanced math than policy.  From delegate counts to Congressional seats in play to dueling budget scenarios, it gets highly detailed very quickly.  The first couple of days of the convention, I feel like I’m trying to catch up and get my head around all the subplots.
Of course, just as I start feeling like I’m getting it down, we come home.  Regardless, I have terrific memories of the week.  Out team of producers, engineers, and reporter Frank Stoltze really enjoyed working together on your behalf.  Let’s do it again in four more years.

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The RNC in Tampa is closing out

Larry Mantle interviews Tom Brokaw at the 2012 Republican National Convention

Lauren Osen/KPCC

Larry Mantle interviews Tom Brokaw at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Republican National Convention

Lauren Osen/KPCC

AirTalk's Larry Mantle prepares to go on air, live at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Republican National Convention

Lauren Osen/KPCC

Larry Mantle talks super PACs with Karl Rove's American Crossroads Comm. Director, Jonathan Collegio as producers Gina Delvac and Karen Fritsche listen.

Republican National Convention

Lauren Osen/KPCC

Todd Zwillich, producer on WNYC's The Takeaway asks AirTalk host Larry Mantle to record a message for his sister, a longtime fan living in Venice Beach, Calif.

Larry Mantle interviews Antonio Villaraigosa at RNC

Gina Delvac/KPCC

AirTalk host Larry Mantle interviews Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida on Aug. 27, 2012.

Former California Governor Pete Wilson poses for a picture with AirTalk's Larry Mantle

Lauren Osen/KPCC

Former California Governor Pete Wilson poses for a picture with AirTalk's Larry Mantle at the 2012 Republican National Convention on Aug. 28, 2012.

Rep. Darrell Issa Republican National Convention

Karen Fritsche/KPCC

Rep. Darrell Issa sits down for an interview with AirTalk's Larry Mantle at the 2012 Republican National Convention.


Our trip to the RNC in Tampa is coming to a close, but we’ve spent time with so many interesting people that our memories will stay strong.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the photos, tweets, and blog postings that have expanded our coverage beyond what we provide live on the air two hours a day.

This is the first political convention where KPCC has used multiple ways of bringing you here without time off from work or having to take a plane ride.  There are many great stories to tell and people to share.  We trust our photos give you a more complete sense of how much goes on at a massive convention like this.

For KPCC journalists, it’s particularly exciting to interact with you in these new ways.  We welcome your tweets and retweets (@AirTalk), comments on our blog postings (www.kpcc.org/blogs/politics), and feedback on our “AirTalk” segment pages. 

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Off to Tampa for the GOP convention

The news seems better on Tropical Storm Isaac and its potential threat to next week's events. However, from network news, you'd never know it mattered much if the storm damaged other countries or American cities outside Tampa. Isaac coverage is a wonderful example of how we as journalists care so much about something when we'll personally be affected.

Monday morning at 10 we begin our live coverage from the convention. Patt Morrison will follow at 11 with an hour of regular talk programming. I'll be back at 1 p.m. for another hour from Tampa, followed by Patt at 2.  We'll follow this schedule for the days of the convention, Monday through Thursday.

Patt will make her way to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic Convention the following week. It will be fun to compare the cultures of the two conventions, aside from the platforms and PR spin we'll be exposed to for two straight weeks.

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