The Illusion of Handmade Signs Made by RNC Convention Goers-That was a Scam Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

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The Illusion of Handmade Signs Made by RNC Convention Goers-That was a Scam

5 September 2008 at 12:06:02 AM

It's one thing if they pass out nicely printed signs but when you put handmade signs on chairs AS IF the participants brought them in themselves and had made them, it's a trick. from Huffpo

Last night, I went to the Republican National Convention mainly to see how it differed from festivities in Denver, and boy was it different. Probably one of the most notable things was the Republican use of "handmade" signs. You couldn't enter the Xcel Center with a handmade sign, but that's ok...when you got inside and got to a seat, there were handmade signs waiting for you. Interestingly, on either side of the arena, the signs were identical. As festivities began, I noticed the presence of "Hockey Moms for Palin" signs scattered in two strategic spots in the convention hall. They were placed only in the line of sight of television cameras. I'm sure it was only a coincidence that when Sarah Palin mentioned she was a hockey mom, those with the signs "went crazy," thereby opening the opportunity for Palin to make a little joke:

"Do you know what they say the difference is between a hockey mom and a Pit Bull? Lipstick."

Do they really need to do this? Do the Republicans really lack the grassroots support that makes such political theater necessary? Perhaps they of the most striking distinctions between St. Paul and Denver is how much the Republican Convention looks nothing like America. It's white. It's male. In Denver, the big tent of the Democratic Party was out in force. It looked and felt diverse.

From a press standpoint, the placement of the "handmade" signs was smart, especially when that's all you've really got. It makes America think the support by moms for Sarah Palin is simply unstoppable. And given that everyone has a mom, they're hoping this will speak to a broad audience. They want to send a message that five days ago, Hockey Moms across America heard about Sarah Palin's nomination and immediately booked their ticket for St. Paul. But when you sit in the hall, you realize that's clearly not the case.

Being someone who didn't understand what apparently is a typical republican trick of placing handmade signs at rallies, I thought the one sitting in my seat meant someone else was sitting there. The woman sitting next to me said that wasn't the case. I moved the sign, and when the gentleman next to me started waving around the "Moms for Cindy" sign in front of him, I asked him if he knew where it came from. He shrugged. He didn't care. He most certainly wasn't a mom, but that wasn't really important. What's more important is to give the impression that women all over America are supporting this ticket. It was absolutely frightening to see so many people accept the reality of these signs the way my seatmate did. It showed me that the individual choice and identity the Republicans preach is actually secondary to the need to master political theater. It showed me that individual investment in the political process is meaningless in the Republican party. Image matters, policy doesn't.

And it's fakery.

Update: The Democrats are part and parcel of this fakery, too. John Dvorak has his take.

The need for unity within the Democratic party has resulted in the organizers orchestrating the signage to an extreme. Many of the signs have unity on them. It’s more like a card section of a college football game than anything else. In fact I think if they made the whole place into a giant card section where images and logos could be flipped back and forth it would be more interesting. I only saw one handmade sign and the sign police made sure it did not last.

And, here, from Glamor Mag

Wondering why all those handmade signs you saw in the audience last night during the Republican National Convention looked so similar to each other? That's because they were all made by RNC staff or volunteers beforehand and distributed to selected attendees!

I know this because last night, returning to my seat just before Meg Whitman's speech, I noticed that the nice young lady sitting next to me all of a sudden had a sign when she didn't before. Here she is, Christine Hall, 23, with her "handmade" sign.


I asked her what it said, and she showed me, then added bluntly that she didn't make it. I looked all around us and behind me were a gaggle of identical "Students for McCain" signs. "I [heart] Mac" made a few appearances as well.

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1 - camille   5 Sep 2008 @ 10:27:25 AM 

Ok - my comment to you about the differance in

the gender between the two conventions - the

democratic one being diverse - and the republican

one was male and grey haired.   Who do you think

founded and worked to make this country.   And

still is -  I enjoyed the view much more so at the

Republican Convention, as opposed to the

Democratic one.

And as far as the signs - they were staged at

each event.  The whole thing is staged when

you put it in perspective.  Like most things

are in the scheme of life -- 'meaningless'.

Ask someone that is dying.  

The one thing you can do to improve life,

be happy - and say hello to five people

a day,  that you dont know.  And see their


2 - salon   5 Sep 2008 @ 10:42:11 AM 

You're correct on the signs at the Democratic convention as well. From John Dvorak I think BOTH parties are wrong to pretend that these signs are handmade and an expression of the person waving them about.. Am going to update the post with some examples of both.

I have NO idea what you're talking about when you ask who founded and worked to make this country. Are you trying to say that it was Old White Men? And that you liked the white view at the RNC instead of the diverse one that represents ALL of America at the DNC?

On asking someone that is dying what is or isn't meaningless. If that person has been locked up in Guantanemo Bay and tortured, without even a chance at a fair trial and without (before) habeus corpus, having a happy face and saying hello to five people to see their reaction is absurdly meaningless. Elections have consequences and for this example, it's standing up for the principles of fairness and law and order. That's NOT the Republican Party.

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3 - denise   5 Sep 2008 @ 5:05:02 PM 

No, seriously, Camille. You think that because in 1776 the country was racist, sexist and segregated, that it's ok that the Republican party is?!!

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