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Back to the Future: the 2008 Presidential Nominating Conventions

Four years later, I was at the Republican Convention in San Francisco . I wasn't a working journalist at that convention, but attended as an observer invited by my best friend, a researcher for the Barry Goldwater campaign. I was particularly interested in the conservative-moderate-liberal Republican animosity that developed during the primaries that year, since I had just finished a writing assignment for a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate from Hawaii. He adored Goldwater's hawkish foreign policy during that Vietnam War period. "Why Not Victory" by Goldwater was the (ultimately unsuccessful) candidate's bible. After the 1960 experience, I knew conventions could get riotous. But I wasn't prepared for the anger and outrage expressed by the conservative delegates toward contender New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller who represented the moderate wing of the party and whose personal life became the issue.

This year is the first time that KPBS is sending a team to another city for the presidential conventions due, in large part, to the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund for Reporting Excellence . The fund supports the work of KPBS web developer Joe Spurr. With Joe and his multimedia magic, both conventions will become an immediate experience for you who follow our adventures on And technical whiz Kurt Kohnen, KPBS Radio production manager, is ready to tackle the intricacies of our live-from-the-conventions radio reports for Morning Edition, These Days and Editors Roundtable. And you may also read a blog post or two from Kurt on some of the after-hours activities as those two weeks on the road progress. Kurt is also a musician.

We three plan to focus on delegates from San Diego's districts and on issues of local interest. & If you have a particular area you'd like us to address, just let us know with a comment. I'll be in touch.