Tampa (Fla.) will turn red beginning on August 27 and Charlotte (N.C.) will turn blue the week of Labor Day as both national parties hold their conventions.
It’s likely business owners will welcome the potential uptick in sales. It's a given that record numbers of media will descend on both cities, but numbers cited by the GOP are startling.
Ahead of the Democrats’ Charlotte convention, area newspapers have been largely positive about all things related to the party headed by national chair Rep. Debbie W. Schultz (R-Fla.) whose sharp tongue and addled claims routinely draw attention.
The Charlotte Observer even ran a story explaining to taxpayers that recent improvements around the city—“sprucing up”—weren’t just done for the convention. There was an admission that some improvements were pushed ahead with the DNC in mind, however.
Charlotte doesn’t get that sort of attention very often, so a national political convention put pressure on the city to beautify—“installing plants along freeways and interstates near uptown and the airport.”
Both cities naturally want to put a best foot forward, not only for convention-goers but also for media.
Among recent speakers added to the DNC roster is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who most recently praised the Nation of Islam for helping to “protect the community.” Emanuel was President Barack Obama’s chief of staff prior to becoming mayor of the city increasingly known for weekend murders and forever known as a city wed to corrupt politicians.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will keynote the Republican National Convention in Tampa; Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio will introduce Gov. Mitt Romney on the final night.
The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to the Romney ticket has already drawn much interest from the grassroots, with many bloggers amused at concerns expressed by GOP establishment figures who were astounded that the governor actually made a selection based on policy rather than pure politics. Ryan has energized the ticket and it’s evident he will be a plus.
The Tampa Bay Times recently noted a fundraiser featuring Ryan led organizers “to scramble to find a bigger venue.”
GOP convention organizers noted the significance of media who will come to Tampa:
“The convention will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media—an international press corps second only in size to this summer’s London Olympic Games—as well as a global audience that will witness a ‘convention without walls’ thanks to our Internet and social media efforts.”
Select pro-Dem media will likely only cover the Democrats’ gathering, as TV One did in 2008 when every minute of the Dems’ convention was covered but the GOP convention was ignored. TV One is a venture that includes Comcast; the audience is mostly black.
Apparently TV One didn’t want a competing message aired as President Barack Obama campaigned his way to the White House.
Democrats have a longtime hold on the black vote, although the impact of Leftist policy on the black race raises many questions about the wisdom of that loyalty.
Weather forecasts for both conventions look friendly, with temperatures averaging in the upper 80s and occasional storms popping up.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 20, 2012)
Related at The US Report