Republican National Convention

Transcript of Cardinal Dolan's RNC Blessing (with Video)

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivered his highly-anticipated benediction Thursday night to close out the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Dolan will do the same for the Democrats next week in Charlotte, so this blessing seemed less like an imprimatur for the GOP than it would have had President Obama not taken the cardinal up on his offer to give the closing prayer after he accepts his party’s nomination.

Moreover, Cardinal Dolan’s four-minute prayer clearly had something for everyone – or, rather, something to cheer and challenge everyone in the hall.

He mentioned the importance of protecting the unborn, but also welcoming immigrants. His riff on religious freedom was a swipe at the birth control mandate, but he also mentioned the importance of “solidarity” and the “common good,” two bedrock principles of Catholic social teaching that the Republican platform – and especially Paul Ryan’s budget plans – are seen as undermining.

GOP Convention’s Religious Leaders Agree on Immigration Reform

The Washington Post/Contributor / Getty Images

Photo: GOP tie worn at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The Washington Post/Contributor / Getty Images

If you blink, you might miss the fact that the religious luminaries offering prayers at the Republican National Convention agree on a surprising topic: the need to welcome immigrants and pass immigration reform.

The views of these religious leaders differ sharply from the Republicans’ own platform. Guided by the likes of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the brains behind state-level anti-immigrant laws, the GOP draft platform takes a hardline stance on immigration.

But the Episcopal, evangelical Protestant, Greek Orthodox and Catholic leaders chosen to lead the RNC in prayer beg to differ.

Charlotte, Tampa Mayors Talk Hosting Conventions

SeanPavonePhoto, Marek Gahura /

Charlotte, N.C. and Tampa, Fla. skylines. SeanPavonePhoto, Marek Gahura /

They have the two of the most stressful jobs in the country, at least for the next couple of months. Mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Fla., and Anthony Foxx of Charleston, N.C., will play host to the Republican and Democratic national conventions, respectively.

The two sat down with Politico's Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen on Tuesday to discuss the challenges, economic opportunities, and politics of hosting such historic, national events. 

"I don't look at this as a political event," Buckhorn said. "… Yes, I am a Democrat, but I intend to be the best host the Republicans have ever had." 

Dear Ann Coulter: Stop Making Sense

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wylio

Ann Coulter at the 2012 CPAC. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wylio

I’m telling you, these ultra-conservative spokespeople are gonna ruin my reputation if they keep putting stuff out there I agree with.

First, Pat Robertson and I see eye-to-eye on the decriminalization of marijuana.

Then doomsday prophet Harold Camping concedes that his predictions for the end of the world not only were off the mark, but actually were hubristic and sinful.

Now spotlight-hungry conservative bully Ann Coulter and I agree on the state of the GOP.

You guys keep this up and it’s going to be really hard to blindly stereotype you.

Most of the stuff that comes out of Coulter’s mouth when behind a microphone is hateful, angry and divisive. But her recent insights about the prospects of a GOP brokered convention point out some serious flaws in the political-celebrity machine.

Fact-Checking and Faith First

John McCain's acceptance speech last night sought to present him as a maverick and bipartisan reformer, in contrast to the total partisanship of Sarah Palin the night before. She clearly relishes her own self-description as a pit bull with lipstick who fires up the conservative base, while McCain wants to reach out to the independents he knows he needs to win. He told his story again of how capture and torture took him from a reckless and selfish young man to a deep love for his [...]

Palin Owes Some Good People An Apology

Wednesday morning I got an e-mail from a former member of our Sojourners community. Perry Perkins is now a community organizer in Louisiana with affiliates of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). "Perk," as we used to call him, reported on the enormous consequences of 2 million people being evacuated because of Hurricane Gustav, much of the state now being without power, how hard cities like Baton Rouge were hit, the tens of thousands of people in shelters and churches, and the [...]

Beyond Palin's Personality

While many conservatives have known and admired Sarah Palin for some time, most Americans do not know her. So the intense media focus on the new Republican vice-presidential nominee was to be expected. But some of it has been inappropriate, especially when reporters go after the Palin family's choices. The suggestion that running for vice president with a 5-month-old special-needs child and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter should make her suspect as a mother is a blatant double standard that [...]

Delegate Diversity

Most of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention were politically predictable; the same was true on the first night of the Republican National Convention. Sarah Palin's speech tonight will be worth watching, considering all the attention her nomination has received, and of course John McCain's acceptance speech on Thursday night will be very important, just as Barack Obama's was in Denver.

But one thing looked very different on the first night of the Republican [...]