The Democrats' head honcho on getting Democrats elected to Congress explained "they need to be in their districts" not the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September "if they want to win an election." The DCCC chair, Steve Israel, also explained he didn't "care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now," his advice to Democrats running for Congress would be the same.
What was DCCC Chair Robert Matsui's goal at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston? From a 2004 Los Angeles Times article:
Although lavish events and parties have been cut back, Rep. Robert T. Matsui of Sacramento, who is chairman of the DCCC, said: "Our principal goal at this convention is to make sure that the major donors and House members are handled in a way that they get most of the benefits of the convention."
And then, of course, there's 2008. From a June 2008 Daily Kos post:
Democrats are stoked for their convention where Barack Obama will be our nominee. There are some folks who are angry about Democrats' Iraq impotence, Clinton's loss or other issues, but for the most part Democrats from around the country are excited. Barack Obama moved his acceptance to the Denver Bronco's stadium that will likely have fewer empty seats than if John Elway made a comeback. It looks to be a huge party, and an energizing one that will launch the fall campaign like few others have.
Then there's the Republican convention in Minneapolis St. Paul, where John McCain becomes their standard bearer. Apparently enthusiasm is lacking not just among rank and file, but among leadership. Here's Tom Cole, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, giving advice to candidates:
The NRCC chief discouraged candidates from attending the national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, saying that spending days there would be a "waste of time," and they would be better off campaigning.
No word yet on how excited Republican candidates are to head to Tampa in August. The Libertarians already held their convention.