Convention Coverage

Convention Coverage

The Kojo Show brings you live broadcasts, exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes stories from the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions. Follow our coverage from Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., for a unique local perspective from the front lines of these national events. From key politicians and party platforms to convention logistics and local cuisines, we'll highlight don't-miss interviews, photos, videos and more.

The Kojo Show brings you live broadcasts, exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes stories from the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions. Follow our coverage from Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., for a unique local perspective from the front lines of these national events. From key politicians and party platforms to convention logistics and local cuisines, we'll highlight don't-miss interviews, photos, videos and more.

Introducing the newest Kojo Show team member: Flat Kojo. Flat Kojo is a distant cousin of Flat Stanley, the fictional character who travels the world as a paper cut-out. Take a photo tour of the conventions with Flat Kojo, and follow his adventures on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #FlatKojo. Or make your own Flat Kojo and send us pictures of him at your favorite places in the D.C. region and around the world.

Republican National Convention

Democratic National Convention

The Politics Hour: Post-RNC Analysis

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Republicans from around the country and the Washington region gather in Florida for their national convention. Meanwhile, candidates in an independent race for D.C. Council wage trench warfare over their rights just to appear on the ballot. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

The Politics Of Education With Michelle Rhee

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Republicans gathered for their national convention this week in Tampa, Fla., are talking tough about the influence of teachers unions on school systems across the country. Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of D.C.'s public school system, attracted nationwide attention for challenging teachers on sensitive issues like tenure and accountability. We talk with Rhee, who was in Tampa this week, about what she wants to hear from Republicans and Democrats when it comes to education policy.

D.C.'s Education Debate Hits The RNC

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.

Patrick MaraDemocrats controlled all the local levers of power in Washington, D.C., when the city started pursuing an aggressive education reform policy. But conservatives across the country have emerged as some of the most enthusiastic supporters of those reforms, which rankled traditional Democratic allies in teachers unions. We chat with a local delegate at the Republican National Convention who's been involved in D.C.'s education debates.

“You Didn’t Build That:" Republican Criticisms Of Obama’s Economic Policy

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama does not understand the challenges facing small businesses and “job creators” in today’s economy. At the Republican National Convention, delegates and speakers have continuously referenced the president’s recent comments that “You didn’t build that.” We speak with two local Republican businessmen about the economic stakes in Election 2012.

Faith And Politics: Mormon Influence

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

Mitt Romney's Mormon faith is an issue largely left alone by his campaign. But is it an issue at all? One poll found that 25 percent of Americans won't vote for a Mormon, and many who are unfamiliar with the faith are intrigued by it. We talk with a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who now studies the sociological aspects of the faith, including its interplay with politics.

Election 2012: The Latino Vote

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Latino vote discussionSome are calling it Mitt Romney's Latino problem. The Republican Party is about to unveil a party platform in Tampa, Fla., that takes a hard-line on issues important to many Latinos, particularly immigration. We speak to Republican delegates from Maryland and Virginia about the party's strategy to woo Hispanic voters and where they feel Republicans may actually have an advantage.

Tampa City Council Chairman Charlie Miranda

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

Tampa City Council Chairman Charlie MirandaHis father came to Tampa, Fla., from Cuba in 1911 at age 11 -- alone. Charlie Miranda grew up in the immigrant-filled Ybor City neighborhood and is serving his sixth term on the Tampa City Council. The native son and local politician joins Kojo to talk about how Tampa has changed, what challenges it's facing today and what it means to host the Republican National Convention.

RNC's Impact On Tampa: Hopes Fulfilled Or Hopes Dashed?

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Tampa, Fla., officials hoped the Republican National Convention would pour money into the local economy and shine a rose-colored spotlight on their region. But many local business owners say they are not experiencing the predicted uptick in business. Some blame Hurricane Isaac for raining on Tampa's parade, other place the blame elsewhere. Kojo finds out what the RNC looks like from Tampa's perspective.

Tampa's Gift To Sandwich Lovers: A History Of "The Cuban"

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

Cuban sandwichThis spring, Tampa, Fla., bested Miami when it was voted the true home of the Cuban sandwich by readers of NPR's food blog "The Salt." The debate continues, however, over the sandwich's exact origins, and the proper mix of ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese and mustard served on Cuban breads. We explore Tampa's culinary gifts, including -- and beyond -- the Cuban sandwich.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Flat Kojo and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnellOne of the men of the hour at the RNC this week is Virginia's own Gov. Bob McDonnell. As the governor of a swing state, McDonnell offers insight into the GOP's strategy for appealing to moderate voters and hard-line conservatives alike. Kojo sat down with the governor at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from the prospect of sequestration and its potential effect on Virginia's many federal jobs to the need for greater transparency in government.

Convention Tech: Preparing For 50,000 Smart Phones

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:20 p.m.

The Tampa airwaves are getting a little crowded. With more than 50,000 visitors expected at the Republican National Convention -- many of them wielding data-hogging smartphones and laptops -- wireless providers are adding new cell towers, Wi-Fi hot spots and temporary cell sites. Tech Tuesday goes behind the scenes at the convention.

Election 2012: What's At Stake In Tech

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.

People in the technology business have a lot riding on this year's elections. A new administration could mean different policies on antitrust issues, copyright protections and the management of wireless networks. We connect with a technology reporter to learn more about the technology issues shaping elections this fall.

Foreign Policy In A Romney Administration

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

What would a Romney foreign policy look like? Mohsen Milani (University of South Florida), David Trads (Washington Bureau Chief, Berlingske newspaper) and Josh Rogin (Foreign Policy Magazine) join Kojo at WMNF in Tampa. Mitt Romney talks tough on Iran and promises a close friendship with Israel. He promotes the United States as an exceptional nation that should lead with military strength and assertiveness. Kojo explores Romney's philosophy on foreign policy and examines whether a Romney State Department would include policies and people from prior Republican administrations.

The GOP And "Purple" Northern Virginia

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis
If Virginia is one of the country's most important battleground states, the outcome of Election 2012 may be decided in Northern Virginia. Until 2008, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis represented Fairfax County as a Republican state senator. Today she represents the Commonwealth in Washington, D.C., and she's a presumed candidate for lieutenant governor. We examine the challenges facing the GOP in the suburbs and cities of Northern Virginia.

Kojo Visits "Romneyville"

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

Romneyville Kojo visited "Romneyville," a makeshift camp for the homeless and a hub for counter-convention protests in Tampa, Fla. The camp is loosely affiliated with the Occupy Movement. Kojo talked with a number of protesters -- including a vice presidential candidate for the Green Party -- who say their stories aren't part of either the Republican or Democratic platforms' narratives. Listen to the audio at 39 minutes here.

RNC 2012: Platforms, Credentials And Party-Building

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

ojo broadcasting from WMNF in Tampa with guests Jill Homan and Kevin Igoe. Activists and elected leaders converge in Tampa, Fla., this week for the 40th Republican National Convention. National party conventions may lack the intrigue of past events when Republican and Democratic leaders selected candidates and engaged in horse-trading over policy, but the RNC and DNC continue to serve critical roles in American politics. We kick off our week of broadcasts from Tampa with a look at what actually happens on -- and off -- stage at the RNC.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sits down with Kojo in the WMNF studios in Tampa, Fla.Since he took office as Virginia attorney general in 2010, Ken Cuccinelli has made national headlines for lawsuits against health care reform and challenging the work of a climate scientist. The tea party favorite joins Kojo in Tampa, Fla., to discuss Virginia's recently passed voter ID law and the role social issues will play in Election 2012 and 2013.

Party Time At The Conventions

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

Across Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., night clubs, art museums and aquariums are morphing into entertainment hubs, as political candidates and interest groups host events and fundraisers for convention delegates. We explore how the two parties party with a Washington event guru. We also talk with muckraking activists who are building a digital record of the parties and partygoers at the RNC and DNC.

All Eyes On Tampa: Previewing The RNC

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

Two weeks from today, thousands of delegates, reporters and protesters will descend on Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention. It's the city's time to shine in the national spotlight. We'll chat with local voices about security, weather, politics and traffic, and whether the area is ready for the moment.

The Politics Hour: Post-DNC Analysis

Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Virginia gets the VIP treatment at the Democratic National Convention, while the District and Maryland watched President Barack Obama's acceptance speech from the nosebleed seats. As the party wraps at the DNC, we talk with local Democrats and examine the week's big winners and losers.

Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Terry McAuliffe Terry McAuliffe has worn many hats over the course of his long career in Democratic politics: prolific party fundraiser, White House confidante to former President Bill Clinton, chairman of the DNC and past -- and possibly future -- candidate for Virginia governor. He joins Kojo to discuss the national political landscape and his own future in the Commonwealth.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

Tom PerrielloIn his only term in Congress, Virginia's Tom Perriello carved out a reputation as one of the intellectual forces of the Democratic Party. Now he's at the helm of the Center for American Progress, a think tank that sets the progressive agenda for many of America's toughest political debates. We chat with Perriello about the Democratic Party's platform and how he thinks it can be mobilized to win elections in Virginia.

Teachers Unions And Democratic Politics

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Teachers unions have long served as a reliable source of campaign cash and volunteers for the Democratic Party. But that relationship is evolving and, by some accounts, deteriorating as leaders in both parties embrace controversial education reform agendas. Kojo explores the politics of education reform with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Southern Dialects: Talkin' Tar Heel

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

A Southern accent carries many associations, from "Gone With the Wind" Southern charm to country bumpkin. Language can also be political, as Yankee politicians quickly find out when they try to pepper speeches with Southernisms like "y'all." We explore the dialects of a changing South -- including North Carolina -- where transplants are influencing the language.

A War On Women?

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Flat Kojo and Lilly Ledbetter"Women's issues" have played a prominent role in the presidential campaign so far, surprising many activists on both sides of the aisle. During the first night of the Democratic National Convention, speakers frequently referenced what they say is a Republican "war on women." Kojo explores how hot-button debates over abortion, contraception and pay equity will play out in the days and months ahead.

Spotlight On Charlotte

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.

North Carolina's fastest-growing city is in the spotlight this week as host of the Democratic National Convention. We look at what makes Charlotte tick and how the city is handling the deluge of delegates, protesters, media and VIPs.

Consider The Taxpayer

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Many economists think reform of America's tangled tax code is long overdue. With a so-called fiscal cliff looming and candidates looking to appeal to voters, now may be the perfect time to float new ideas and changes. So why aren't we hearing much about tax policy on the campaign trail or at the conventions?

Food And The "New South"

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

banana puddingFew cities have grown faster in the past 25 years than Charlotte, N.C. But waves of new residents are also challenging the culinary cultures that have defined popular perceptions of the American South for decades. We explore what food says about regional identity in Charlotte and other rapidly-changing parts of the "New South."

Mobile Mobilizing For Election 2012

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

More than 80 percent of American adults own a cell phone. And as Americans increasingly rely on these devices to communicate, political campaigns and pollsters are scrambling to find new ways to engage potential voters in the palm of their hand. Tech Tuesday explores how mobile technology is changing voter mobilization and fundraising.

Mining New Political Data: Music And Politics

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

Political campaigns have always conducted polls and focus groups to learn more about the electorate and target specific groups. But as Election 2012 enters its final stretch, both parties are experimenting with new data sources -— like music preferences or web searches -- to glean insights about potential voters. As Democrats converge on Charlotte, N.C., for the first day of their national convention, Tech Tuesday explores the links between what we like and how we vote.

Ballot Box Battles: Same-Sex Marriage

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

Comer and McIntoshLast month, gay rights activists successfully lobbied the Democratic Party's platform committee to endorse "marriage equality" for the first time. But voters will ultimately decide whether same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land in states across the country. The issue goes before Maryland voters this fall, as they consider a ballot initiative on the state's same-sex marriage law. Earlier this year, voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment to ban the practice. We chat with advocates and legislators from both states about the dynamics of the issue.

Money And Parties In Charlotte

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.

From late-night receptions to tea parties, golf tournaments to boat rides, there's a lot of partying in Charlotte, N.C., this week -- outside the convention hall. Kojo explores which groups are throwing parties and who they're inviting as they seek to influence Democratic Party politics.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'MalleyMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is stepping into the national spotlight this week. As the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, O'Malley has a starring role at this year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. We kick off our coverage of the DNC by sitting down with O'Malley to chat about the issues shaping races across the U.S. and in Maryland this fall.

D.C. Voting Rights, Democracy And The DNC

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 at 12:20 p.m.

Eleanor Holmes Norton Democrats from around the country are coming to Charlotte, N.C., this week to map out strategies for this year's election. But advocates for the District of Columbia are hoping to force them to consider strategies to give D.C. voting representation in Congress. We chat with two D.C. delegates to the convention about what's at stake for the District this week.

Labor Day And The DNC

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.

ProtestsDemocrats typically count labor groups among their most loyal supporters, but President Barack Obama is likely to get a chillier reception this election than in 2008. As the least unionized state in the country, North Carolina has an anti-union reputation and many labor groups were disappointed in the choice of Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention. Other groups are also making their presence at the DNC felt, including a coalition known as Occupy Wall Street South. We check in with what's happening outside the official convention site.

A Party Like No Other: America's First Conventions

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.

Political conventions haven't always been predictable, carefully choreographed parties. Starting with the first convention in 1831, these gatherings were rife with fighting, intrigue, nail-biting votes and even murder. We talk to a convention historian about the wheeling and dirty dealing that went on at our country’s first political conventions, and explore some of the raucous events that changed history.

Charlotte Gears Up For The Democratic Convention

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

In just a few weeks, Charlotte, N.C., will become the epicenter of Democratic politics. The "Queen City" will host the president, Democratic delegates, journalists and thousands of protesters for the Democratic National Convention. Beyond the official events, Charlotte is preparing for big parties, big marches and heavy security. We preview what’s in store, and get a read on the political winds in this battleground state.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.