Roll Call for Hillary Tonight, But Not in Primetime

Hillary Clinton will be formally nominated and a traditional roll call vote will proceed when the convention is called to order at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon, according to the podium schedule issued by the Democratic National Committee today.

Nominating and seconding speeches for Clinton will be delivered first, followed by two speeches for Barack Obama. The schedule doesn’t say who will deliver the speeches. (Often, nominating speeches are delivered by high-profile figures–-Mario Cuomo formally nominated Bill Clinton in 1992, and Clinton himself nominated Michael Dukakis in 1988–a speech most famous for the crowd’s gleeful reaction when the long-winded Clinton finally said, “In conclusion…”)

After they are nominated, a roll call vote will proceed, but whether every state will be called is unclear. Reports earlier this week hinted at a possible agreement between the two campaigns–the process of calling the states would be interrupted by a motion-–possibly introduced by Clinton herself-–to suspend the vote and to nominate Obama by acclamation.

The early timing of the vote represents break from tradition. Generally, presidential roll calls have been held in primetime, so that viewers at home can watch as a frenzied celebration ensues in the hall when the nominee hits the magic number. Even conventions that have been as contentious as this one–like the 1984 race between Walter Mondale and Gary Hart–have featured primetime roll call votes.

Roll Call for Hillary Tonight, But Not in Primetime