Harman Patil (Editor)

1988 Republican National Convention

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Date(s)  August 15–18, 1988
Venue  Louisiana Superdome
Presidential nominee  George Bush of Texas
City  New Orleans, Louisiana
Keynote speaker  Thomas Kean
Vice Presidential nominee  Dan Quayle of Indiana
1988 Republican National Convention

The 1988 Republican National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 15 to August 18, 1988. It was the second time that a major party held its convention in one of the five states known as the Deep South, coming on the heels of the 1988 Democratic National Convention, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Much of the impetus for holding the convention in the Superdome came from the Louisiana Republican National Committeewoman Virginia Martinez of New Orleans, who lobbied on behalf of her adopted home city as the convention site as a member of the RNC Executive Committee.


The convention nominated Vice President George H. W. Bush for President, as expected. The second spot on the ticket was not publicly known before the convention; James Danforth "Dan" Quayle, U.S. Senator of Indiana, was selected as Bush's vice-presidential running mate. The revelation of Quayle's selection as running mate did not come until the second day of the convention, when NBC News broke the story.

The convention featured speeches by Joe Paterno, Pat Robertson, a keynote address by Thomas Kean, then-governor of New Jersey, and the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra. Actress Helen Hayes attended the conference at age 88.


The convention is perhaps best known for Bush's "thousand points of light" speech accepting the nomination. Written by Peggy Noonan and Craig R. Smith, it included the "read my lips: no new taxes" pledge that was the most popular sound bite coming out of the convention. The successful speech gave him a "bounce" that he was able to capitalize on to win the 1988 presidential election.

President Ronald and Nancy Reagan were honored on August 15. Reagan made a major speech on the opening night of the convention, as he would for the last time in 1992.

Other speakers included Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole, Arizona junior senator John McCain, Jeane Kirkpatrick and former President Gerald Ford.

Dan Quayle made a speech that put him on the national stage, on August 15.


Vice President Bush was nominated without opposition during the roll call vote, but with rumblings of opposition to the Quayle nomination, it was decided to have it ratified by voice vote, something that the Republicans had never done before.


1988 Republican National Convention Wikipedia

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