, Pennsylvania
First Union Center
July 31st - August 3rd 2000

Presidential Nominee:
George W. Bush of Texas
Vice Presidential Nominee:
Richard B. Cheney of Wyoming
 
Up until the year 2000, Philadelphia has hosted six national conventions for the Republican Party. The years include 1856, 1872, 1900, 1940, 1948, and of course 2000 itself. The City of Brotherly Love, a bustling metropolis of over 1.5 million edged out competition of the caliber of Indianapolis, New Orleans and New York. The First Union Center (now the Wachovia Center) stood as the gathering place. Normally housing the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers and sports fans, it had to cater to a different audience from July 31st to August 3rd, 2000. For the Republicans purposes, the center had to accommodate many of the estimated 45,000 delegates, press members and volunteers who flocked to the Pennsylvania?s largest city for the Republican national rally.

The convention cost an estimated 63 million, with about 13 million funded by the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, while other amount were pledged by local taxpayers and other monetary support came from the host committee.

Looking at the themes for the week, a sense of purpose permeates the schedule. A couple highlight speeches were those given by Mrs. Laura Bush and past Secretary of State General Colin Powell. Mrs. Bush backed the importance of literacy while Mr. Powell spoke about altruism and volunteering, under first day's theme of 'Opportunity with a Purpose: Leave No Child Left Behind.' The second day, Tuesday, August 1st, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole, and former Arizona senator John McCain discussed various aspects of defense and international policy. The daily theme therein was 'Strength and security with a Purpose: Safe in our Homes and in our World'. Wednesday, August 2nd contained the essence of 'Prosperity with a Purpose: Keeping America Prosperous and Protecting Retirement Security.' Furthermore, the day occasioned the beginning of the roll call vote and the acceptance speech from Vice Presidential nominee at the time, Richard Cheney. The concluding day included the remaining roll call activity, and the acceptance speech from George W. Bush, who easily garnered a majority of the 1034 votes needed to secure the nomination. The theme pervading was titled 'President with a Purpose: a Strong Leader Who Can Unite Our Country and Get Things Done.' Among his competition were names like former NC Senator Elizabeth Dole, entrepreneur Steve Forbes, former Arizona senator John McCain, and former Vice president Dan Quayle.

In the way of protest, the numbers are difficult to pinpoint. Various sources have offered numbers in the thousands, while one publication by CNN had purported some 300 petitioners were arrested on various charges during the first 3 days and "Philadelphia Police on Standby for Last-Day Convention Protests". Some were charges with felonies, while the majority was charged with misdemeanors. Nonetheless, some of the defendant's bail charges have been set at questionably high rates. The authorities have verified this claim. For example, one individual was held on a $50,000 bail for a non-felony offense. One contention is that the high bails are in place to keep captured suspects detained until the end of the convention. One group, the R2K Network, had issues of its own. Using the theme 'Human Greed, Not Corporate Greed' the organization made its presence known, allegedly facing harassment by police forces for it. Matt Ruben, a spokesperson for R2K, stated during a USATODAY.com live chat session on August 2nd, 2000 that the group was not targeting a specific political figure or party. As evidence he alluded to D2K, a sibling organization, and indicated it would be present at the Democrats' Los Angeles Convention. Ruben, like newly nominated George W. Bush, knew there was much work ahead for both the assemblies they represented and the country.



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