1988 Republican National Convention

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1988 Republican National Convention
1988 presidential election
RP1988.png RV1988.png
Bush and Quayle
Date(s)August 15–18, 1988
CityNew Orleans, Louisiana
VenueLouisiana Superdome
Keynote speakerThomas Kean
Presidential nomineeGeorge Bush of Texas
Vice presidential nomineeDan Quayle of Indiana
‹ 1984  ·  1992 ›

The 1988 Republican National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 15 to August 18, 1988. It was the second time that a major party held its convention in one of the five states known as the Deep South, coming on the heels of the 1988 Democratic National Convention, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Much of the impetus for holding the convention in the Superdome came from the Louisiana Republican National Committeewoman Virginia Martinez of New Orleans, who lobbied on behalf of her adopted home city as the convention site as a member of the RNC Executive Committee.[1]

George Bush is joined by his running mate and family
President and Mrs. Reagan address the 1988 Republican National Convention in the Superdome

The convention nominated Vice President George H. W. Bush for president, as expected. The second spot on the ticket was not publicly known before the convention; James Danforth "Dan" Quayle, U.S. Senator of Indiana, was selected as Bush's vice presidential running mate. The revelation of Quayle's selection as running mate did not come until the second day of the convention, when NBC News broke the story. As of 2020, it was the last time a major party's presidential candidate announced his vice presidential choice during his party's convention.

The convention featured speeches by Joe Paterno, Pat Robertson, a keynote address by New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, and the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra. Actress Helen Hayes attended the conference at age 88.


The Louisiana Superdome was the site of the 1988 Republican National Convention

The convention is perhaps best known for Bush's "thousand points of light" speech[2] accepting the nomination. Written by Peggy Noonan and Craig R. Smith, it included the "read my lips: no new taxes" pledge that was the most popular sound bite coming out of the convention. The successful speech gave him a "bounce" that he was able to capitalize on to win the 1988 presidential election.

President Ronald and Nancy Reagan were honored on August 15. Reagan made a major speech[3] on the opening night of the convention, as he would for the last time in 1992.

Other speakers included Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole, Arizona junior senator John McCain, Jeane Kirkpatrick and former President Gerald Ford.


The Balloting:

Candidates 1988 Bush.jpg
Name George H. W. Bush
Certified Votes 2,044 (100%)
total: 2,044

With rumblings of opposition to the Quayle nomination, it was decided to have it ratified by voice vote, something that the Republicans had never done before, but would become standard practice in the decades to come.

Preceded by
Dallas, Texas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Succeeded by
Houston, Texas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RootsWeb.com Home Page". ftp.rootsweb.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans; August 18, 1988; by George H. W. Bush
  3. ^ Reagan's speech at the 1988 Convention

External links[edit]