They are, instead, the place for blistering exaggeration, howling pronouncements and exorbitant overstatement.
One isn't supposed to be coy at a national convention. This is that time you don't pass on an opportunity to be utterly clear about your political perspective.
But then it seems, political sympathies aside, that the Democrats got off the best zingers this year.
That's not meant as a challenge and no need to belabor the obvious. This sampling can talk entirely for itself.
President Barack Obama in his acceptance speech: "All they have to offer is the same prescription they've had for the last 30 years: Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!"
"It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did," Clinton said.
And the Understatement of the Week from Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.:
"Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago."