The Campaign Spot

Cleveland vs. Dallas: Winner Hosts the Republicans in 2016!

From the last Morning Jolt of this holiday week:

Cleveland vs. Dallas: Winner Hosts the Republicans in 2016!

Say it with me: Hosting the GOP national convention, officially nominating the presidential candidate in a state does not help that presidential candidate win the state. Republicans did not win Florida in 2012 (Tampa). They did not win Minnesota in 2008 (St. Paul). They did not win New York in 2004 (New York City). They did not win Pennsylvania in 2000 (Philadelphia). They did not win California in 1996 (San Diego).

So when Hugh Hewitt says picking Cleveland to host the 2016 Republican National Convention is the first step to winning Ohio, history does not bolster his argument.

And yet, if Republicans pick the other city, Dallas, the narrative for the lazy media is written: Republicans are the party of the South, the party of rural America, the party of rednecks, gun-owners, country music, J. R. Ewing and big oil companies, cowboy boots, and so on. The party may want to embrace the Texas jobs boom, the energy boom, and the fact that so many Americans are flocking to the state to live their American dream.

So then there’s Cleveland.

This Lake Erie city has suffered some bad public relations over the years and has made headlines for all the wrong reasons: poverty, pollution, foreclosure, bizarre crimes and a fleeing population. Yet, thanks to billions of dollars spent burnishing the city’s image and its physical face, Cleveland is one of two finalists for the Republican national convention in 2016 and a longshot candidate to host the Democrats, as well.

Hugh will be ecstatic if they pick Cleveland, of course:

I spent this past Saturday morning touring the new convention center — on Twitter @clevemtgs — built on the lakefront across from the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center and, of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The lakefront sparkles as does the whole downtown.

The convention center, which would host the media stiffs, contains hundreds of thousands of square feet of exhibition space, meeting rooms and ballrooms, and is a mere 10 minute, 0.9 mile walk from Quicken Loans Arena, where the formal proceedings would be gaveled in, a walk that goes down 4th street past the House of Blues and scores of restaurants and bars that would no doubt be second home to the scribblers and Tweet legions. Beautiful new hotels are already open and more rising and stately old ones as well, and the Tower City Center — soon no doubt to be the Manziel Center — brings the city’s excellent red, green and blue lines into the heart of the center, providing the mass transit for further out delegations that St. Paul, Minn., and Tampa Bay, Fla., lacked in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

The decision should be announced and/or leaked in late July or early August.

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