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Politics & Society

Are You A 'Junkie'?

On Friday, we like to do politics and, boy, did we do politics today. Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean was with us to give us a run up to the convention in Denver, happening the week after next.

If you didn't know what I was talking about today when I mentioned the demographic changes coming to the U.S., you can read a recent New York Times article for the details. ... And if you weren't familiar with my reference to memos published in the Atlantic Monthly that describe the infighting in the Clinton campaign (where pollster Mark Penn says, they can wait until 2050), follow this link to read for yourself.

In today's Faith Matters conversation, we talked about this Saturday's political forum at Saddleback Church, at which both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain will participate. We asked for input from NPR's Ken Rudin, BET's Pamela Gentry and blogger Michael Sean Winters. Winters has a new book about Catholic voters and the Democratic party.

(You can know more about this Saturday's forum by checking out an interview with Pastor Rick Warren last week on NPR's All Things Considered.)

As a person who has been to every nominating convention since 1988 (except for 2004 when my children were infants and I couldn't get the childcare in place to be frank — that's a longer story for another time), I have to admit I have mixed feelings about the upcoming party conventions. If you are a political junkie, like most of us here, then this is catnip. You can't get enough. You want to go all night, hear every speech, go to every party and people-watch 'till your eyes are about to fall out of your head.

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But what about you?

Do you think these conventions still serve any useful purpose? Do you watch?

If so, why?

And do you watch both or just the party you like and support? Are they worth the time and the expense to attend, if you could?

Let us know.

And, speaking of watch, OMG, the damned Olympics! Why do I think I can stay up that late, even to watch the women's gymnastics finals? Where is my mother when I need her to tell me to GO TO BED!

Oh, that's right, I'm somebody's mother now. I gotta go lie down.

(I'll "see" you at the conventions. Until then, I'm taking a few days off to get myself together and spend time with the fam. Lynn Neary will be holding it down in my absence. And, I left a few radio pieces for you that have yet to air, so you won't forget me.)

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