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What to Watch and Where
By Suzanne Freeman

Want to watch the Democratic and Republican conventions gavel to gavel? That will be a bit harder this election year than in other presidential cycles.

Mayor Michael Bloomburg. (Photo: © Kathy Willens/AP Wide World)
Only C-Span and PBS will provide full convention coverage commercial free. The three major networks—ABC, NBC, and CBS—are scaling back convention airtime. The networks will air only major speeches given in prime time the last few days of the four-day-long conventions. Fox, CNN, and MSNBC cable news channels will also provide coverage, but from opening to closing each day. Their coverage will be interrupted by commercials.

Since only the most dedicated of political fanatics will be watching every minute of the convention, Scholastic News Online has put together a list of convention highlights. Check out both conventions to get a full picture of the candidates for President and their platforms.

The Democrats met in Boston July 26-29. Republicans are meeting in New York from August 30 to September 2.

Republican Highlights

Republicans are linking their schedule to a new program they are calling Compassion Across America. Convention delegates are being urged to participate in community services in their local regions leading up to the convention. They will also be asked to participate in projects in New York City during convention week. Convention sessions have been scheduled to allow delegates time to participate in Compassion Across America events.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Photo: © Kevork Djansezian/AP Wide World)
"President Bush believes that the greatest strength of our nation lies in the character of our citizens," said convention CEO Bill Harris. "Beginning the weekend of July 24, Republicans from all 55 delegations will answer the President's call to service in an effort to bring our party's positive message to every community."

On Monday, sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Highlighted speakers will be New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Arizona Senator John McCain.

Convention sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Tuesday, key speakers are First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Also speaking is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Wednesday's lineup includes Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, as well as a Democrat, Georgia Senator Zell Miller.

The convention will hit a climax on Thursday when New York Governor George Pataki introduces President Bush for his acceptance speech.

More information about the Republican lineup will be available as the convention draws near.