Lights, Camera, Action! A 2012 Republican National Convention Preview
by Jason Oberholtzer
The 2012 Republican National Convention could not have picked a harder act to follow; simply put, the 2008 version was a smash hit. According to Nielsen, 38.9 million people tuned in to watch John McCain accept the GOP nomination in the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. To put that number in perspective, that’s about three times as many people as watched the preview of the new NBC comedy/turd Animal Practice. This is impressive because Animal Practice is apparently important enough to break up coverage of the Olympic closing ceremonies and because Animal Practice features a monkey.
A day before McCain dropped the massive 38.9, Sarah Palin’s pulled in 37.2 million viewers for a speech in which she said “here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion.” Mission accomplished.
The rest of the 2008 convention boasted Republican luminaries like Laura and George W. Bush, John Boehner, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch McConnell, Joe Lieberman (who had long since dropped all pretense of giving a single f*ck what anybody thought of him) and Mitt Romney. Now Mitt is back and this time he is pulling anchor position in this ratings war. After all, that’s what these things are about, right? The NC’s are week-long infomercials for their respective parties. They are TV events; no politics actually happen.
So, how do you beat last year’s ratings bonanza? You bring in the expert, Donald Trump. That’s right, Donald Trump will be in Tampa this year and the rumor is he will be “firing” a Barack Obama impersonator in a taped bit. I love this. Let’s roll with this, pull a Lieberman ‘06 and stop pretending anybody cares about anything other than getting elected. This is all a show, so let’s treat it like one.
I want Mitt in mom jeans. I want Paul Ryan to enact scenes from The Office (as Gabe of course). I want Newt to launch his own space program. I want GTL with John Boehner. I want Todd Akin to say whatever comes into his shriveled, empathy-disabled mind. Mostly, I want as much Herman Cain as possible — give him a backpack full of energy drinks and a headset microphone and let him run loose. I want the peak of this year’s convention to hit 40 million viewers (or roughly 18 times the premiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) and frankly, if none of the above happens, I’m pretty sure Mitt Romney’s personality alone is not going to be enough.
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