09/07/2012 07:01 pm ET

Conventions Highlights: The Best, Brightest, And Weirdest Moments From The 2012 RNC And DNC

Whether it was Mia Love's representing an unprecedented political dream, Michelle Obama's captivating the crowd with intimate accounts of the President, or Bill Clinton's sparkling nomination, this year's Republican and Democratic National Conventions provided Americans with a fundamental portrayal of the nation's current political landscape.

Politicians gathered with celebrities and other influential figures to support--and in some cases, bash--presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Behind-the-scenes photos demonstrated the important role that family plays in the Obama household, as Malia and Sasha cozied up to their father on a White House couch to watch their mother take center stage for her speech in Charlotte, NC.

Down in Tampa, Mitt Romney encouraged Americans to forego patience, "turn the page," and expect more immediate change from their commander-in-chief.

And then there was Clint Eastwood, a surprise guest at the Republican National Convention who spoke politics with an empty chair.

San Antonio mayor Julian Castro made history at the DNC as the first ever Latino invited to deliver the keynote speech. Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas made her country proud once again by leading the convention attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Scandal" actress and political activist Kerry Washington proved her support of President Obama by delivering a speech that touched on volunteering, voting and women's rights.

On Thursday, the president capped off the DNC with a nomination acceptance speech that highlighted a decided shift in tone for the forthcoming election.

In his speech, President Obama urged for more collaborative action to stymie the country's pressing economic and social issues.

"We don't think government can solve all our problems," he said. "But we don't think that government is the source of all our problems."

Throughout his remarks, Obama also acknowledged everyday Americans who have inspired him, job availability for veterans, the DREAM act, and the accomplishments achieved throughout this four terms.

"If you turn away now -- if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn't possible -- well, change will not happen," said Obama. "If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves."

"Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen," he said. "Only you have the power to move us forward."

We've rounded up these convention highlights that speak to the future political climate of the upcoming election, as well as the ever-changing face of American politics.

2012 Conventions Highlights