Editor's Note: John Berman reported live from both the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. Throughout his reporting, he's been sharing Instagram photos of the conventions. This piece was producing using some of those photos. Follow him on Twitter: @Johnsberman
You can't touch this. That’s right, if you are a political junkie, a political reporter, or a political player, there really is nothing that beats a convention. Nothing. Sure there are plenty of people who reasonably say that conventions have become pieces of performance art, staged with such precision as to render them meaningless, or even worse, dull.
Well I say to you people out there that these past two weeks are proof that something always happens at these things; something unexpected, something fascinating, something that in one way or another will absolutely impact the outcome of the election.
Seriously, two weeks ago, who would have thought to talk to a chair?
(This was my view of that Eastwood episode from just feet away).
Seriously two weeks ago, who would have though that the two most tactful politicians named Romney and Obama were named Ann and Michelle?
(This is how I saw it when Michelle Obama first saw the arena she was soon to own.)
Two weeks ago, who would have though that weather would threaten to completely disrupt and dismantle the carefully laid plans of both political parties?
(This is what Isaac looked like from my hotel.)
Two weeks ago, who thought I would meet the guy from Wings?
(me with Tim Daly)
I fully understand that nominees no longer get picked in contentious floor fights. Boy, do I wish I had been around when they were (except I feel like the levels of hygiene may have alarmed me back then.) But these days conventions represent that moment when a political campaign is allowed to put forth what it thinks its best case for winning. And it is always worth evaluating what they offer. Moreover it is worth noting in this aura of hyper-control that they often lose control. Note the moments of discomfort for the GOP with the Ron Paul folks on the floor. Note the almost inexplicable confusion and backtracking with the Democratic platform.
They also make for incredible people watching. Can you name all these political players I spotted the last couple of weeks?
A real "Real World" alum.
The son of Greek immigrants. (Not Wolf Blitzer)
He said his keynote in 1992 was "scary."
Big wave surfer, or Senator?
He's usually a very serious guy.
Guess Virginia IS for lovers!
Look closely, there are two lawmakers in this shot.
Finally, or as Bill Clinton said in 1988, “in closing,” if you need more proof that conventions still matter, are still fun, and are still fascination...
If you need more proof that you can’t touch this...I offer you: MC Hammer.
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Take a peek behind the scenes of today's Early Start...
Ten minutes to showtime!
Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin research the day's top stories.
The Early Start crew gets ready to go on air.
Christine Romans reviews her notes before delivering the news.
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Sunken treasure? Bags of gold and silver? Might sound like the work of pirates or like a missing scene from the classic movie "The Goonies."
But a group of sixth graders in northern California made a surprising discovery while picking up "trash" around Lake Merritt, near Oakland, as part of a weekly clean up project. Even the adults were shocked!
What did they find? Two 15-lb canvas bags filled with gold jewelry, silver candlestick holders, ancient coins and more.
This morning on Early Start, five of the students from Saint Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland talk about the shock of finding the loot.
"I saw it first. We all kind of pulled it out," says Leah Winer. "I just saw two canvas bags. I saw the handles kind of floating in the water. And, I mean, they were way down in the ground, I couldn't move them. But, the top of them were kind of floating up to the top."
"One of the bags said Wells Fargo on it," says Isabel Torrence. "I don't know if that had anything to do with it. But, it was kind of - we found all this treasure in a Wells Fargo bag, and it was kind of funny."
The kids are part of a volunteer program that helps clean up the lake every week. Zoraida asks the kids if they've ever found anything interesting before in and around the lake.
"Well, we've never really found anything as interesting that I would like to say on the air," Gabriel Lee says, "But there were some pretty interesting things."
The kids say they hope the owners get their items returned, but if not they would like to have it donated to their school.
"I think it will be great if the owners were found," Torrence says. "I know what it's like to like lose something, probably not that valuable. And it's great when it's returned to you. So, it would be really nice if the owners were found, but if they aren't found, then if it went to the school, that would be also cool."
Despite getting up super early to be on national television, the kids will be going to class today.
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"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.