Many of this year's on-the-fly convention innovations — including Democrats' virtual roll-call road trip and Republicans' use of the White House for political pageantry — may well outlast the pandemic.
Why it matters: Conventions have entered a new era where the TV show will push aside many of the parties' charming but archaic traditions.
The big picture: These pandemic-constrained conventions caught the populist winds of the moment.
- The breakout stars weren't politicians: they were a teen with a stutter and pardoned criminals, grieving parents and spouses, immigrants and Black men challenging stereotypes.
- President Trump's stagecraft further diminished the expectation that U.S. presidents should separate raw politics from governance. Future presidents will have more running room — unless lawsuits or investigations curb the experiment.
The bottom line: Presidential nominating conventions once were about messaging to party insiders to secure consensus. They haven't been that for decades — but this year's experiments finally gave both parties permission to cast aside the pretense and go straight to the voters.