Democratic, Republican conventions a mix of policy and performance

Two weeks in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., can be a death march with cocktails. There are endless security checkpoints, credentialing desks and the nagging doubt that there’s always a better party to get into.

But the Democratic and Republican conventions are also a mix of policy and performance. At the Got Your 6-Lifetime event, co-sponsored by Variety, Sara Evans performed at the Tampa Art Museum to a crowd that included co-host Meghan McCain, with her father, Sen. John McCain. In Charlotte, the event featured an extravagant performance by Flo Rida at Amos’ Southend; co-host Eva Longoria, a co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign, delivered remarks.

While the stars may be out of their element amid panels on tax policy and political strategy, most fetes made them feel right at home. At the Impact Film Festival and Funny or Die party at Charlotte’s Five, Jessica Alba, Elizabeth Banks and Zach Braff left the VIP area, and the crowd seemed to automatically clear the way.

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