2016 conventions might have been the last

Is there a safe way to test everyone for coronavirus? How can people practice social distancing in a raucous mob scene that rivals New Year’s Eve in Times Square and Mardi Gras in New Orleans? What’s the threat of mass infection, especially when someone might want to do it as an act of political terrorism?

Both parties must find ways to nominate their tickets, draft and debate platforms, and consider rule changes. These are, after all, the only full expression of party membership that’s available every four years. But how to do it in a time of pandemic will be a huge challenge.

Two seasoned observers, Mark McKinnon and Russ Schriefer, have helped shape programming for several Republican conventions. Both tell me it’s time to reinvent conventions as a cross between a variety show and a news program—a tight, concise miniseries, shorter than the confabs have been lately.