PHILADELPHIA (CN) — What Democrats and Republicans lack in ideological common ground they make up for in bitter distrust among their internal factions, an intense love-hate relationship with the press and a prolific propensity for dishing out lanyards.
The conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia spun two tales with different plots but similar endings. The frightening rhetoric of the Republican National Convention drummed up support for national security measures, the Second Amendment, law enforcement, and a fear of open borders while the Democratic National Convention paraded out recording artists like Paul Simon, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys to swoon voters on the party's platform of workers' rights, climate change, gun control and gender and racial equality.
Both conventions were press friendly, though in ways as different as their discourse.
In Cleveland, the RNC was split between the Cleveland Convention Center and the Quicken Loans Arena, where Republican delegates, the vast majority of which were white men and women, gathered in the middle of the large arena floor.
The press risers flanked the stage, draped in blue cloth. Seats were allocated by the GOP, the party of free enterprise, to credentialed members of the press for a fee of $150 per seat.
Internet connectivity was shaky if an organization did not pay a handsome fee for a special AT&T Wi-Fi connection.
The public Wi-Fi bandwidth dropped often, running lower than the crowd's opinion of opponent Hillary Clinton, so reporters filing stories synced up smart phones as make-shift mobile hot spots and found other ways to meet their deadlines.
But the delegates below were ripe for the picking.
Reporters could easily swap out their press pass for a floor pass, and wander the floor for an hour collecting interviews and pictures.
And the delegates were happy to talk, despite a great many GOP speakers inserting barbs toward the biased mainstream media into their speeches. Many gave the press their cards and asked where they could read their stories.
At the convention center, daily press briefings were offered, but the building was only occupied by press partitioned off in their work spaces draped with black curtains. The party's convention app was not helpful past providing its roster of speakers.
"I've been to three conventions, and this by far has been the worst one as far as telling us about events and what to do," Tennessee delegate and Trump supporter Rebecca Ann Burke told Courthouse News outside of Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Burke was out on the town looking for something to do on a hot afternoon.
The main story in Cleveland, aside from Trump becoming the party's nominee, was Sen. Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump. Convention goers stood, booed and heckled the Texas senator, and soon afterward those same delegates were eager to flag down press and give them their own glowing endorsement of Trump.
In Philadelphia, the Democratic National Convention kicked off with an undercurrent of bitterness that not only rivaled the anti-Trump faction of the Republican Party, but flat out lapped it in its contempt for party's establishment.