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.
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.
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.
Tuesday morning on “AirTalk,” we reported on GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s conference call with aides in which he seemed to pave the way toward dropping out of the race. This followed Monday’s claim from an Atlanta woman that she and Cain had, until just before the campaign was launched, been romantically involved for 13 years.
I find this whole story unbelievable. I don’t mean that I disbelieve either person’s account. What doesn’t make sense to me is that if Cain and the woman were in a relationship, why he didn’t figure out how to deal with it first. By the same token, I don’t see any reason why a woman who’s known Cain for 13 years would falsely claim they were lovers. Neither scenario makes sense.
The nature of their friendship or relationship may never be known. However, the allegation is almost certain to hurt an already reeling campaign. As you read this, Cain may have already dropped out. If so, it’s another example of the power of allegations of sexual behavior to determine many a political fate.