Some random thoughts on the Republican National Committee choosing Cleveland over Dallas to host its four-day convention in 2016...
For one thing, is it going to be four days? The last two GOP conventions and the 2012 Democratic Convention lasted only three for different reasons (natural disasters in the GOP's case, Labor Day for the Dems). After Tampa, several political pundits declared that we'd seen the end of the four-day events. Let's face it — these conventions are completely unnecessary, and party business could be conducted in an afternoon if need be. Will this one be cut to two or three days? Republicans aren't planning on it just yet.
One reason why the GOP likes Cleveland is that it's in a swing state. This is a relatively new phenomenon — seeing conventions as a factor in winning that state in the fall. It's certainly why Tampa was considered in '04 and '08 before being selected in 2012, and why the Dems selected Charlotte that year. But it didn't make a damn difference, as Mitt Romney took North Carolina and President Obama won Florida. So while the Buckeye State's 18 electoral votes are extremely important, history says that if the GOP wins, it won't be because of their convention. (It is a fact that since 1964, Ohio has voted for the winner in every presidential contest.)
One thing that the GOP is intent on doing is holding their convention earlier in the summer. Until 2008, the party out of power traditionally held its convention in July, with the other party going in August; that's been the case since the 1970s at least. But that changed in 2008 and 2012, with the parties holding their conventions right before and right after Labor Day. But not this time. Mitt Romney was hamstrung by not being able to spend campaign contributions for his general election campaign until he officially became his party's nominee — again, almost in September. So RNC Chair Reince Priebus vowed to have the convention start much earlier, in either June or July.
The RNC announced yesterday that the convention will begin on either June 27 or July 18 in 2016.
In other news...
Tampa City Councilwoman Yolie Capin heads to Cuba for the second time in as many years next week. She's feeling confident about her chances for re-election next spring after having a very successful initial fundraising event last month.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri wants St. Petersburg — as well as Largo and other cities in the county — to start contributing more to the costs associated with running the Safe Harbor homeless facility in Clearwater.
And there are three Hillsborough County School Board seats up for election in next month's primary, including one in which incumbent April Griffin is facing no fewer than seven challengers.