The US Republican and Democratic National Conventions may be primarily concerned with presidential candidates, but electoral politics aren't the only thing at stake. Every year, companies vie to be official event partners, and Google has just announced that it will be serving as the "official social platform and livestream provider" for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida this August. As part of the agreement, Google will be livestreaming speeches, and some Republican leaders will apparently participate in Hangouts, just as Obama did in January.

Back in 2008, Google was also tied with the RNC as the "official innovation provider." That time around, YouTube was the flavor of the day and streaming was provided through Ustream.tv, but now we imagine Google's going to be doing its best to integrate its social network into the proceedings. The DNC chose Microsoft as its partner in 2008, but doesn't seem to have announced a partnership yet this year.