What have we learned from the recently concluded Democrat and Republican national conventions? Here's what we learned: Michelle Obama and Ann Romney love their respective husbands and have good looking, photogenic families. Thanks for sharing, ladies.
But seriously, I thought the highlight of the Democrat convention occurred Wednesday evening, when impeached former President Bill Clinton, who said in 2008 that Barack Obama wasn't qualified to be president, took to the stage to praise Obama as God's gift to American politics.
That followed a floor fight over whether to include the word "God" in the party's platform. It was finally included on a dubious voice vote.
I know I sound cynical, but this is a classic example of political hypocrisy, when politicians contradict themselves in startling ways in public.
Maureen Dowd wrote in The New York Times, Obama "has had to humble himself and ask for the help of the man his camp painted as racist and intemperate in 2008," when Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democrat presidential nomination.
On the other side of the aisle, all of the former GOP presidential contenders - with the notable exception of Ron Paul, who marches to his own tune - now love former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whom they trashed as a "vulture capitalist" during their primary campaign.
The Democrats mounted a rousing convention in Charlotte, N.C., a week after the Republicans put on their show in Tampa, Fla.
The Democrats made a strong argument for President Obama's re-election but dropped most of the "hopey changey" rhetoric. Since he can't run on his dismal economic record, Obama bashed Romney and the Republicans, and urged voters to move forward.
But if "forward" means four more years of what we have now, count me out.
As for the Republicans, they did what they had to do to "humanize" Romney, presenting him as a regular guy with three or four luxurious homes and a yacht or two. But hey, since when did Americans penalize success?
The GOP convention showcased several young Hispanic politicians, including Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, but their highlight - or was it a lowlight? - was a weird and confused Clint Eastwood, who spoke extemporaneously to an empty chair for 10 or 12 minutes. Message from the RNC: Stick to the 5-minute script, Clint.
Well, welcome to the wonderful, but very costly, world of presidential politics.
President Obama, a gifted orator with a golden voice, seems to prefer speech-making to actually governing the country. He's been campaigning for a second term ever since he took office, and Romney has been running for president for the past six years.
Here in Northern Nevada, a swing area in a swing state, we're being bombarded with a continuing barrage of political ads and robo-calls from candidates. Thankfully, I can locate the mute button on my TV remote.
When those slimy push-pollsters call, I either hang up on them, or I lie to them. "I'm with Dennis Kucinich all the way to the White House," I tell them. That's when they hang up on me.
I'll be glad when it's over.
• Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.