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In this Thursday, March 25, 2010 file photo Pope Benedict XVI gestures from his popemobile as he leaves a youth gathering, in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican. When he became pope at age 78, Benedict XVI was already the oldest pontiff elected in nearly 300 years. He's now 85, and in recent years he has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
WASHINGTON: The main purpose of the modern political convention is to produce four days of televised propaganda. The subsidiary function, now that nominees are invariably chosen in advance, is structural: Unify the party before the final battle. In Cleveland, the Republicans achieved not unity, but only a rough facsimile.