By now we've all seen the convention-goers in funny hats, bedecked with pins and waving flags under the bright lights and red, white and blue balloons. Part civic event and part spectacle, conventions are a tradition dating back to the early 19th century. Today that tradition continues with the nomination of the Romney-Ryan and Obama-Biden tickets in the run-up to the fall election.Tonight is the final night of the Democratic convention. We're taking a look at the "conventions that govern the conventions," everything from roll call votes and speaker order to the careful selection of morning breakfast venues.


Michael Goldman, political strategist who has advised Pres. Bill Clinton, Gov. Michael Dukakis and Rep. John Tierney.

Jason Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.