1996 Republican National Convention
Infobox National Political Convention
year = 1996
party = Republican
image_size = 120
caption = Logo of the 1996 Republican National Convention
August 12- August 15
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California
The 1996 National Convention of the Republican Party of the
United Statesconvened at the San Diego Convention Center(SDCC) in San Diego, California, from August 12to August 15 1996. The convention nominated Bob Dole, former Senator from Kansas, for President and Jack Kemp, former Congressman from suburban Buffalo, New Yorkand Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, for Vice President.
After a bitter primary, Dole had secured the Republican nomination—but at high cost, financially and politically. The Party had lost momentum after President
Bill Clintonsuccessfully co-opted the historically Republican issues of crime and welfare reformand portrayed House Speaker Newt Gingrichas an extremist.
Within his own party, Dole was under pressure from both sides of the
political spectrum. Social liberals such as California Governor Pete Wilsonand Massachusetts Governor William Weldloudly argued to remove the Human Life Amendmentplank from the convention platform. On the right, primary opponents Patrick Buchananand Alan Keyeswithheld endorsements—Buchanan staged a rally for his supporters in San Diego on the evening of the convention. Indeed, past comments by Kemp labeling Dole as a tax-raiser surfaced. The long, bitter primary had also left the Dole campaign short of funds due to federal election spending limits in the months leading up to the convention.
The Dole campaign sought to use the convention to unite the party, to appeal to political moderates, and to highlight Dole's honorable service in
World War IIand in the U.S. Senate. Nearly all floor speeches were delivered by moderate or liberal Republicans, including the keynote address by New YorkCongresswoman Susan Molinari, and Dole was nominated by fellow veteran and ArizonaSenator John McCain. Gingrich, who less than two years ago had been a star of the party, was denied a prime time slot altogether, as was Buchanan, who had finished in second place for the nomination, with over 200 delegates. However, supporters in the socially conservative grassrootsorganizations such as the Christian Coalition directed the convention to adopt a conservative platform with little controversy, and in the event, Buchanan released his delegates at the last minute.
The convention ran smoothly overall, and the Dole-Kemp team seemed to benefit in the short term.
Opinion polls taken shortly after the conclusion of the convention showed the Republicans with a significant "bump" of increased support. However, this bump was extremely temporary, and they continued to trail the incumbent Clinton-Gore team, however, and went on to lose the election by almost nine points.
Order of speakers
George H. W. Bush
*former First Lady
Nancy Reagan[ [http://gos.sbc.edu/r/reagan2.html Gifts of Speech - Nancy Reagan ] ]
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Susan Molinari( KeynoteAddress)
Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick
*former Secretary of State James Baker III
*Robin Dole (daughter of Bob Dole)
*New York Governor
George Pataki(nomination of Jack Kemp)
*Senator John McCain (nomination of Bob Dole)
*former Secretary of HUD Jack Kemp
*former Senator Bob Dole
The 1996 RNC was the first presidential nominating convention to be held in San Diego, and the first and only
Republican National Conventionheld in Southern California. Indeed, San Diego's bid had been considered unlikely to win. The SDCC was far smaller than its predecessor venues, the Astrodomein Houston and the Louisiana Superdomein New Orleans, and its normal seating layout left several sections and skyboxes with obstructed views. Ardent lobbying by Mayor Susan Golding, who some named as a potential candidate for U.S. Senate in 1998, and by Governor Wilson, himself to seek the 1996 presidential nomination, helped secure San Diego's selection in 1994. The San Diego Host Committee, "Sail to Victory '96," was organized on September 8, 1995.
It would also be the first national party convention since the
1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which sparked heightened concerns over terrorism. The possibility that the explosion of TWA Flight 800weeks before was a terrorist incident also weighed on convention planners. The Convention Center was located on the waterfront, near a harbor frequented by thousands of small boats—upon one of which Dole and Kemp made their ceremonial arrival. The police, Coast Guard, and other and security presence was massive.
Convention planners situated the designated protest area several blocks away from the convention center, sparking criticism and legal action. It was later moved to a parking lot closer to the building which had originally been designated as a transportation center for the handicapped.
The convention was successful for San Diego, bringing positive publicity to the city and its revitalized waterfront and
Gaslamp Quarter. The convention committee, however, overran its budget by some $20 million, due to the extra costs of security.
PBSOnline NewsHour: [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/convention96/republican_index.html Convention: The GOP in San Diego] , archive including transcripts, analysis, photographs, and streaming audio.
CNNAllPolitics: [http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/conventions/san.diego/ 1996 Republican National Convention] , archived fact, news, chat and speech transcripts, and links
* EmergencyNet News Service: [http://www.emergency.com/repbconv.htm GOP National Convention Security Plan] ,
August 10, 1996sequence
Republican National Conventions
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