Is Tampa prepared emotionally to be rejected by the GOP again?

Share on Nextdoor

The St. Petersburg Times' Janet Zink reports this morning that, despite being jilted at the alter the last two times around, Tampa officials will submit a bid to host the 2012 Republican National Convention tomorrow.

If you'll recall from the early part of the millennium, local politicos of all political stripes were quite optimistic that their bid to host the 2004 RNC would be looked at favorably.  Although historically conventions have never been awarded by political parties for their ability to bring a state "into play", the fact was, after the deadlocked 2000 presidential contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore, Florida in 2004 was considered to be again, perhaps, the most critical state in the electoral college (Though ultimately Ohio was where the election was decided).

But after New York City put a bid in, the Republican Party, somewhat uncharacteristically, chose to place their national party celebration in one of the most Democratic cities in the U.S.  What was not uncharacteristic, however, was the GOP's foresight in continuing to exploit the 9/11 attacks, and what a great way to show their new found love for one of America's greatest cities?

As you may recall, the event was marred by protests and what civil liberty advocates said was unprecedented crackdowns.  And oh yes, we later learned that the NYC Police were spying on activists for a full year before the convention.

So in 2006, Tampa/St. Pete put in a second bid for '08, realizing that they wouldn't have to compete against the backdrop of 9/11.

However, apparently, RNC officials then discovered that we live in a hurricane zone.

Of course, having 4 major hurricanes in 7 weeks in the late summer of 2004 played a part, but frankly, that summer seems like an outlier every year since (I wish the insurance companies would see it that way).

Regardless, Tampa was in competition with Cleveland and Minneapolis/St. Paul.  And lost again.

Now, as we're all 4 years older, Al Austin wants to do it again. The local Republican heavyweight tells the Times that,"We should be a contender and hopefully the third time will be the lucky time."

Mayor Iorio says the city won't spend any money on bringing the convention to town.   Hopefully, there won't be any energy spent on the part of the city as well.

I suppose it would be worse if Tampa had lost out to Cleveland in '06.  But wait a minute - they do have LeBron James at least (for another year, anyway).

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.