With about a month to go before the major party conventions, political, media and showbiz figures of all partisan stripes will be gathering in Pasadena for what may be a fitting prelude to the spectacle.
Politicon, being held on Saturday and Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, will feature a lineup that includes Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, who is reportedly on Hillary Clinton’s short list of potential running mates; former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate who may make a mark this year as a preferred alternative; and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate.
Just announced was a Saturday afternoon screening of Roseanne Barr’s documentary about her run for president in 2012, “Roseanne for President!,” followed by a Q&A with Toure. The movie opens in theaters and on video-on-demand on July 1.
The event bills itself as an “unconventional” convention, with a wide variety of topics, but Donald Trump will loom large.
“Is Trump a Psychopath?” will feature Jon Ronson, Greg Proops, Lizz Winstead, and Ben Michaelis; another panel on the Trump will feature a mix of supporters and detractors, including Ann Coulter, Rick Tyler, Eugene Robinson, Sally Kohn, John Ratzenberger and Robert Davi.
Trump detractor Glenn Beck will participate in a conversation, as well as an event called “A Letter to My Grandchildren with Glenn Beck.”
Kohn, Wendy Davis, Paul Begala, Michael Murphy, Joanne Bamberger and Alison Lundergan Grimes are doing a panel on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Politicon was launched in October at the Los Angeles Convention Center, drawing a good enough crowd to convince organizers to go for year two. The idea was to draw political junkies to a weekend event in the same way that comic/fantasy/sci fi fans gravitate to ComicCon.
Some of the events are set up for maximum verbal sparring. Last year, Ann Coulter debated Cenk Uygur; this year, she’s back, at a debate with Van Jones. Uygur this time is debating Dinesh D’Souza.
Others sound provocative, like “Now This Presents: Millennials Calling Bullsh*t,” and Palin’s session, titled “Your Garden Variety Pissed Off American.” She’ll later do a conversation with James Carville.
A panel on misogyny and sexism in politics will feature Robin Thede, Grace Parra, S.E. Cupp, Nicole Boxer and Wendy Davis.
A number of panels will delve into the debate over gun control. There will be a screening of Brave New Films’ “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA,” while Procon.org is presenting a panel called “Tons of Guns,” with Ken Rudin, John Ratzenberger, Dana Loesch and Darnell Moore. And there will be a share of monkish sessions, like a panel that dissects Bernie Sanders’ success on the Internet, and former Mexican president Vicente Fox will participate in a conversation and a panel with the Latino Victory Project that includes Castro, Henry Munoz, Grace Parra, and Jose Andres.
Also on the bill: Larry Wilmore, Jay Pharaoh, the Upright Citizens Brigade and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Photo: Trevor Noah at last year’s Politicon.
The trailer for the Roseanne documentary is below.