Some politicians say conventions would shrink even more were it not for the government subsidy. “The staging overshadows the politics,” Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told a group of National Review editors last week. Count House Speaker John Boehner as another skeptic: “These are very expensive propositions to put on,” he told a group of reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch last week. He predicted that both Republicans and Democrats “will assess whether this type of convention is worth the tremendous resources put into it.”
I’ll go further: Whoever is elected president this November will have to go through such stringent belt-tightening when it comes to discretionary budget items that the convention subsidy will land on the chopping block. Any political party that dares to oppose getting rid of the subsidy will be in the crosshairs of voters.