Brokered Conventions

Brokered Conventions do not happen too often these days. This is partly because everyone remembers 1968 as a nightmare. But we also have to remember 1968 as a key moment in a kind of revolution that happened.

A very large number of voters today do not necessarily know what this is about. I’ve pulled together a selection of old videos (from YouTube, of course) that show some of the key events and give a feel for the day, mainly related to that fateful year and some of its consequences. These are not flashy or slick and for the young modern mind this will take some work to watch and relate to. This is not MTV. This is not Obama Girl. A lot of Americans lived through this. Except, of course, the ones that did not live.

Sorry if this is a little painful. But that is sort of the point.


April 4th, 1968. MLK is dead.

RFK campaing ad 1968

RFK on the campaign trail. Raw footage. Don’t press play unless you have ten minutes worth of patience and are prepared to watch the world change.

Buckley vs. Vidal

Violence at the Democratic Convention

What we got

The War (and a song from Woodstock)

Good Bye Tricky Dick

Comments

  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 6, 2008

    I barely remember seeing these 1968 events, but I do remember them. I don’t know that a brokered convention will lead to such a mess, because the differences between McCarthy and Humphrey over the Vietnam war were far greater than they are between Obama and Clinton over the Iraq war (as much as they try to create separation neither is calling for an immediate pullout.)

    The fear that if the convention may actually be exciting this year it will lead to a loss in the general election is in my opinion unfounded. It would be nice if the candidates didn’t have to go after each other in order to get the nomination, but they know what works and what doesn’t. People say they want Pollyanna, but what they really want is Xena.

    I say it will drive up voter interest, and the only fear is that the supporters of the candidate who is not selected will drop out in a fit of pity and despair.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2008

    Mike: While I think there are interesting parallels between 68 and now (scary people in office, an unpopular war, dual inspiring … for different reasons … candidates in the Democratic party, etc.) there are also vast differences, of course.

    The uneasy parallel is this: In 68 HHH managed the convention and took power, and Nixon won. If Clinton does something similar, it may turn out retrospectively that the Republicans putting up an “aisle crosser” candidate was brilliant, and the reason for their victory.

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 6, 2008

    (I am gong with the pollyanna wish that Obama ends up winning the nomination. Don’t telly anyone that I am running a campaign of whisper and innuendo.)

  4. #4 Joel
    June 6, 2008

    Thanks for the memories. I remember when Martin Luther King was killed and Robert Kennedy’s announcment of it, hearing it again, chokes me up.

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