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A 3-day national convention for Barack Obama?

Barack Obama's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee are toying with a convention scheduling change that has been broached before in theory but never really seriously considered -- cutting the party's conclave in Denver short by one day to try to give Obama an extra day of post-nomination "bounce" in the crowded August calendar.The Pepsi Center in downtown Denver is the site of this year's Democratic National Convention, an event that Barack Obama's presidential campaign is considering shortening from four days to three

For the last several decades, since conventions became forums that merely rubber-stamp a presumptive nominee rather than dicker over who it should be, they have traditionally run from Monday through Thursday. Increasingly, both parties have struggled to offer anything of interest during the first couple of convention nights, and the television networks have responded by dramatically reducing live coverage of the affairs. The only truly significant event has become the nominee's acceptance speech, delivered during prime time on Thursday evening.

But this year, The Times' Doyle McManus has learned, Obama aides have floated the idea of ending the Denver convention on Wednesday, Aug. 27, instead of Thursday, Aug. 28, as is currently planned.

The reason is the calendar. This year -- unlike in the past, when there was some separation between the two gatherings -- the Republican convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul is scheduled to begin only four days later, on Monday, Sept. 1. The result, many Democrats believe, could be that Obama would not get the "bounce" in poll numbers that nominees usually can count on immediately after they have been officially anointed.

Quitting early, some Democrats argue, would give Obama an extra day to capitalize on the convention.

Adding to the Democrats' calculation is the growing speculation that McCain will announce his running mate in the brief intermission between the two conventions -- a good way to grab the spotlight back from the just-nominated Democrat.

"I'd expect McCain to name his choice on the Friday after the Democratic convention," said Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's presidential bid in 1996. "It would be a good way to quash Obama's bounce."

The shortened-convention idea may have surfaced a bit late for it to happen this year. And one can anticipate that Denver officials and the city's business community will voice strong displeasure to it. Still, it sounds like a plan whose time eventually will come.

-- Don Frederick

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With Google is out there shunting flagging blog speech and shutting down blogs, I'm sure Barack Obama can reduce his schedule by one day. held hostage 8 days, held hostage 8 days,

McCain will just move his announcement up a day. That's an irrelevant consideration. 3 days is plenty. We know who the nominee is. We know the Dems are "energized". They should show some efficiency and organizing skills and get the thing over with.

Hmm? Perhaps the Obama campaign is a little afraid of Hillary Clinton and her supporters. She still has not released her delegates and anything can happen during a convention. Party Unity My A**

Perhaps Obama could spend the entire day listing all of his professional and political achievements.

You mention that ".....The only truly significant event has become the nominee's acceptance speech, delivered during prime time on Thursday evening......"

Not at all. There are many people eager to hear from Hillary Clinton. Surely she will have a major speech to deliver, considering that she has 18 million voters behind her and a just a few less delegates,

Wouldn't it also be very ungrateful of Obama to deny the next young shining star of the party a chance to speak. Isn't that where Obama got HIS start. Surely, Doctor Dean has someone else to spotlight in Denver.

Both parties should do with a WEEKEND convention.

VJ Machiavelli
ps.This election is all about shoes, yes shoes do we keep them on or do we take them off and never put them on again when we board a plane. it's that simple. On shoes or off shoe


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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