We’re all used to the conventions every four years. A week of speeches and pageantry on behalf of each political party. They’re like the partisan Academy Awards, except they last a week and the winners are more predictable.
But there's a reason we monitor the conventions so closely, outside of just pack journalism and slavish devotion to the media cycle. For the Democrats, the conventions have an incredible history of foretelling the party’s direction and creating the biggest stars. Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, explains.