"We are here to nominate the next President of the United States," proclaim a large number of the speakers at every national convention. Undoubtedly, the nomination of a man who might be President is the most publicized, dramatic and obvious purpose of conventions. But nominating a candidate is not the only purpose, and often it is not the most important.
In some cases, a convention is unnecessary for the purpose of making a nomination. Certainly in those cases where the party renominates an incumbent President or otherwise only ratifies an obvious selection, the delegates are not primarily concerned with deciding upon the party leadership. In nearly half of the major party conventions, the Presidential choice was foreclosed before the first session. Uncontested nominations occurred in the first conventions of both parties, and have continued to the present day. As soon as Lyndon Johnson became President after the