Skip to comments.Cleveland, no need to swoon over the RNC
Posted on 07/14/2014 4:30:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
Republicans picked Cleveland to host their 2016 national convention, and the city, writes the Plain Dealer's Stephen Koff, "is swooning over its victory."
No kidding. "Huge day for our city. Has anything ever happened here that's bigger?"tweeted Aaron Goldhammer, co-host of ESPN Cleveland's morning sports show. Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County's elected executive and the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor of Ohio, rejoiced in the GOP's confirmation "that Cleveland is now in the middle of a historic renaissance." Local folk hero Charles Ramsey, who last year saved three Cleveland women held hostage for 10 years, told a TV interviewer that news of the coming Republican convention made him "giddy happy as a clam."
"Our City's Time To Shine," exulted the Plain Dealer's front page on Wednesday, while the editorial board announced that "the Republican Party has validated the city's relevance."
Though I've spent more than half my life in Boston, I'm a born-and-bred Clevelander, so none of this delirium surprises me. To grow up in Cleveland in the 1960s and 1970s was to live in the Rodney Dangerfield of cities the town with the inflammable river and mayoral hair, the butt of endless jokes on "Laugh-In," the home of a ball club so desperate for fans that it offered ten-cent beer as a promotion and wound up with a drunken ninth-inning riot. Is it any wonder Cleveland developed a persistent inferiority complex? There are only so many times a city can hear itself mocked as the "mistake on the lake" before taking the put-down to heart.
But don't be too quick to scoff, Boston. Cleveland's euphoria at landing a presidential nominating convention may seem excessive, and it might be tempting to smirk at a town so hungry to have its significance "validated" that it would treat a gathering of politicos and media people as a prize beyond measure. Yet Cleveland's reaction is no different from Boston's when it was chosen to host the 2004 Democratic National Convention. "This is the relaunch of Boston," Jack Connors, head of one of the city's top ad agencies, exclaimed at the time. A legislator from Boston hailed the selection as history-making: "Let's face it, the city's crossing a threshold here."
The truth, of course, was that Boston didn't need a relaunch any more than Cleveland needs to be validated. Cities crave major-party conventions because they see themselves basking in the reflected prestige of a presidential nominee and the political poobahs swarming in from around the country. Given the dismal opinion Americans have of national politics and politicians, that prestige is mostly theoretical, but the illusion persists.
Lord knows why. Has any city's national reputation been measurably enhanced because it was the site of a quadrennial nominating convention? The parties spend immense sums to stage these events, and the media send armies of journalists to cover them. Yet voters tune out much of the proceedings, which in any event have almost no effect on how the election turns out.
Besides the supposed glory that comes with hosting the GOP's conclave in two years, Clevelanders are being told to anticipate an economic boost of $200 million from all the wealth delegates will be spreading around.
But Cleveland is apt to learn what other host cities have learned about the bonanza that conventions are invariably predicted to generate: It's also mostly theoretical. Boston officials repeatedly claimed that the local economy would reap a $150 million windfall through hosting the 2004 convention. In the event, it netted one-tenth as much. Most delegates spent less than $500 during their stay in the city; a majority never ventured beyond the convention site and their hotels. "As a short-term economic event, the DNC clearly was a bust," the Boston Business Journal glumly concluded.
Boston wasn't an outlier. National Journal reported two years ago on research by economists at Holy Cross who "reviewed every national political convention hosted between 1972 and 2004, comparing 14 convention towns with 36 similar regions." Result: Not one of the 18 conventions during those years "had any impact on personal income or local employment in the host city."
I begrudge Cleveland not one iota of the civic pride it takes in having won the 2016 convention. But I also know that Cleveland doesn't need a horde of conventioneers or even, dare I say it, LeBron James to feel good about itself. "Laugh-In" is ancient history, and Cleveland is no longer the buckle on the Rust Belt. Republicans picked a city whose reputation is far better than it used to be. If only the same could be said about Republicans. Or Democrats.
But if it had been the Dhimicrat Convention, now THAT would have been something to get excited about.
Cleveland is not on my bucket list of places to go.
This is satire right.
Cuyahoga County Ohio is a Liberal county... but I am sure they won’t have any compunction about cashing RNC checks.
and the article doesn’t even mention the anarchists and attendant costs of that gaggle.
Not new. The GOP nominated Coolidge and Landon in 1924 and 1936, respectively, in Cleveland. So in 2016, it will have been 80 years since the convention was held in Cleveland.
Since I am not from Ohio, I wouldn’t know. Are you?
It is worth a 24-hour stopover though if you are in northern OH.
With the frenzy of LeBron (promote ACA at Obama’s request) going back to Cleveland this ought to be interesting.
Perhaps blubbering Boehner can kiss both rings.
Yes, I live in Ohio.
It is THE most Democrat county in Ohio.
Why do republicans insist on spending their money in democrat strongholds?
>>Why do republicans insist on spending their money in democrat strongholds?<<
They suffer from the delusion that they can somehow defeat Santa Claus by buying a few trinkets.
The optimist in me tells me that since Ohio is perhaps THE most intense Battleground state, and Cuyahoga County is THE most fraud-ridden election site in Ohio, that having the place crawl with Republican operatives might mitigate that fraud.
Alas, with what is going on in Mississippi, I fear the Republican presence in Cleveland will only enhance the fraud.
Fact is that it is a battle ground but Ohio is also the Mother of Presidents.
She’s an old Republic and the Mother of Presidents
I guess the GOP settled on Cleveland because they couldn’t find a landfill that would take them and went for the next best thing.
The Democrat strongholds are the cities. Cities are where convention centers and the associated hotels and amenities are located.
How could any city be proud that a bunch of corrupt politicians will be visiting for a week, throwing around their ill-gotten gains?
The author has a very solid point. All things considered, it’s possible hosting a convention has more minuses than pluses.
Burn on big river, burn on...
I have been all around the water bits of the world and her dry parts too, Cleveland is the land of saints, and quite a few sinners, but She’s a great city and most of the folks there have hearts of gold.
Yeah the place is swimming with Dems but that is because it was the original melting pot.
She has produced more presidents and I dare say Conservative presidents tan any state in the nation.
Texas is running a close second, but there was that LBJ guy that fudged the score.
BTW do you all know the origins
It was the Connecticut western reserve, until she declared herself as a state.
She was a holding of Connecticut back in the Indian wars
Do yall know the history of the region the great 7 Indian nations?
You'd be surprised how much Cleveland has to offer for a one or two day visit. And how nice some (granted not all) of the near-suburbs are as places to live.
FWIW, the writer has some of that Cleveland cynicism that is often self-fullfilling prophecy for the city. Cleveland has everything any major city does, yet it's small enough so the Republican converntion will have full access to the city. And with the 8% state/county tax, it certainly will be an economic boon.
It's a real good choice for the convention The reason for the pride is that Cleveland competed on the national level and won.
That write up leaves out a lot.
The Miami, The Shawnee, The Chilicothe..
Tippycanoe and Tyler too LOL
What a joy the west side market is. World class.
Jacobs Field, the Flats... all WORLD CLASS.
I've lived in Baltimore almost my whole life. And despite its problems, I love the city. But Cleveland was a complete unknown to me until I forced my daughter to consider attending Case Western Reserve University for nursing school. (Why I did is a story in itself and leads me to believe without any doubt in Divine Providence.) We went to visit, and we both fell in love with Cleveland immediately. On the drive back to Baltimore she changed her mind about where she wanted to attend school and decided to attend Case, both because of the school itself and because of the city. She just graduated this past May, and my wife and I are going to really miss visiting Cleveland so frequently. It's a GREAT city! There really is a lot to offer there. Cleveland has its problems, sure, but there's so much going for the city that I'm sure it'll rebound. In any case, my wife and I, along with her sister and brother-in-law, intend to go there periodically so we can visit some of the great museums and attractions. Here are just a few:
I don't know about other universities in Cleveland, but Case Western Reserve University is fantastic. It is the "MIT of the Midwest". The nursing education my daughter got really can't be surpassed. In her freshman year, she told us in amazement "It's considered cool here to study." If you know anyone who's looking into colleges and universities, you should definitely consider Case Western Reserve. I highly recommend it.
As far as healthcare goes... they've definitely got it going on! The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are among the best in the world, and so they attract patients from all over the world. And I say this as someone who has worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital for over 25 years.
And I love the architecture. It really reminds me of our nation's greatest history.
Cleveland is a great city, even if it is going through a rough time. If it weren't for the weather and the fact that my family is all in the Baltimore/Washington area, I'd definitely consider moving there.
I'm thrilled Cleveland landed the RNC convention, and even if the direct economic benefit is minimal, I hope it does a lot to restore the pride that Clevelanders should have in their city.
For your own benefit, you should consider putting Cleveland on your bucket list.
From Cleveland, it’s a short drive to Mentor to see the home of President Garfield, and to Fremont to see President Hayes’ home and library.
President Harding’s home in Marion, near Columbus, is especially impressive as his mausoleum, which is located nearby.
Did I really do that?! I mean, of course, "their zoo".
Big deal. Get LeBron to speak at their convention and endorse conservative Republican values...then, you’ll have something to swoon over.
Because...unfortunately....with few exceptions....the Dems dominate most big cities in America, that’s where most of their vote is concentrated in big urban areas.
The other city also in contention for the RNC convention, Dallas, was also carried by BHO.
I think the GOP’s convention-picking strategy has been to pick reddish-purple-ish states in hopes of attracting enough attention there to win the vote in that state. Needless to say, the GOP will absolutely need Ohio in 2016.
Cleveland: The MOST Democrat, The MOST Corrupt, and with a cast of thousands ready to take to the streets at a moments notice from the plantation managers to disrupt any Republican goings on.
Gosh, RNC, what could possibly go wrong?
The thought of that is far less objectionable to them than spending their money in a Tea Party stronghold, i.e. Dallas/North Texas.
GOPe is still focused on destroying the Tea Party.
The convention will dump a bunch of money into a city that desperately needs money.