Most Memorable Convention Moments

PHOTO: Democratic National Convention keynote speaker Barack Obama, US Senate candidate for Illinois, speaks on July 27, 2004, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

As we near the Republican and Democratic conventions we take some time to look back at past conventions' most memorable moments.

2008 Republican Convention -- St. Paul, Minnesota

PHOTO: Sarah Palin, US vice presidential nominee, speaks to the audience during the Republican National Convention 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 3, 2008.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Sarah Palin Bonds With Hockey Moms

Sarah Palin was thrust into the political spotlight when the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, named her as his running mate. At the Republican convention in St. Paul, she accepted the nomination. She was a controversial choice -- she had only been governor of Alaska for two years -- but her acceptance speech electrified the party and solidified her status as a prominent conservative.

Palin called herself a "hockey mom," balancing politics with family life in Alaska. In her speech at the convention she said, "You know what they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is? Lipstick."

2004 Democratic Convention -- Boston

PHOTO: Democratic National Convention keynote speaker Barack Obama, US Senate candidate for Illinois, speaks on July 27, 2004, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Barack Obama Takes the Stage

In 2004, Barack Obama was chosen to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Virtually unknown on the national stage, the young Senate candidate from Illinois commanded the podium

"Let's face it," he began, "my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely."

As unlikely as it may have been, the speech helped to launch his star in the Democratic party. He described America as a "magical place," one with a place for everyone, even a "skinny kid with a funny name."

Four years later, in Denver, he accepted the Democratic nomination for president.

2000 Democratic Convention -- Los Angeles

PHOTO: Vice President Al Gore kisses his wife Tipper Gore after accepting the democratic nomination for President of the United States on the the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, CA, August 17, 2000.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
Al Gore Smooches Tipper

At the 2000 Democratic convention, Vice President Al Gore showed his sweet side by laying a big smooch on his wife, Tipper.

The kiss was unusually long, and unusually intense, for a politician. It went against Gore's reputation as something of a stiff in public.

Gore actually beat George W. Bush by 500,000 votes in the November election. But neither candidate had enough electoral votes to claim the White House, and the vote in Florida was so close the case ultimately made it to the Supreme Court. There, by a 5-4 margin, Bush won.

1988 Republican Convention -- New Orleans

PHOTO: U.S. Vice President George Bush accepts his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate at the Republican Convention in New Orleans.,  August 18, 1988.
AP Photo
George H.W. Bush Says "Read My Lips"

In August of 1988 George H. W. Bush accepted the nomination at the Republican National Convention. It was here that one line from his speech became legendary:

"Read my lips: No new taxes."

Bush did not keep his word, ultimately raising taxes as a way to reduce the federal deficit. Voters were not happy. They voted him out in 1992, and Bill Clinton succeeded him.

1940 Republican Convention -- Philadelphia

PHOTO: Interior of the Republican National Convention, with Herbert Hoover speaking, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June of 1940.
Kean Collection/Getty Images
First-Ever Televised Convention

This memorable convention was the first one ever televised. The 1940 Republican convention nominated Wendell Willkie president and Sen. Charles McNary for vice president -- and brought the convention to life for so many people who had never seen it before.

It was considered by some to be a circus, with politicians playing to the cameras. But the famed CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow would later say, "The circus was always there; TV just proved not all the performers were well trained."

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