Photo by Joeff Davis
The long process to land the 2016 Republican National Convention has begun....
Now the cities begin to lobby to be the host.The Republican National Committee took steps Thursday to change how it will pick its presidential candidate in 2016, the latest effort by the national party to tighten control over the primary calendar. The motivation behind the change is simple: it’s all about the money.In the summer of 2012, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was cash-strapped as most of its resources were tied up until he officially became the GOP‘s nominee at the Republican National Convention, allowing the Obama campaign months to define him with a television blitz. The RNC, is looking to free up those general election dollars sooner by moving the 2016 convention to late June or mid-July.On Thursday, the RNC’s Rules Committee, continued to ease the path for better-funded establishment candidates to avoid the type of ‘long slog’ against poorly-organized and under-funded candidates that Mitt Romney was subjected to. The latest proposals allow proportional contests to be rendered as essentially winner take all, by allowing states to set minimum thresholds for support in order to receive delegates. Changes passed at the Republican National Convention in 2012 and subsequent meetings, have clamped down on caucuses, requiring that they directly tie delegates to the convention, instead of allowing grassroots convention takeovers at state conventions.Under the RNC’s ideal scenario, which now appears likely, the first nominating contests for Republicans in 2016 will be Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, taking place in the month of February. Painful penalties, stripping states of nearly all of their delegates, should keep other states from moving their caucuses and primaries before March 1.
But as the haggling got under way Wednesday, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman found himself in unfamiliar territory. Addressing Republican National Committee members, staffers, and consultants—over Ohio-brewed booze, ice cream and one of the city’s Jazz ensembles— Coleman promised the GOP a victory in the key swing-state if they held their convention in his city. “I have two guarantees,” he said. “If you have a Republican National Convention in the City of Columbus, I guarantee you it will be your best convention ever. Second, if you have the Republican National Convention in the City of Columbus, you will win the state of Ohio.”Coleman was pressing the flesh with RNC members late into the night Wednesday. “Here’s how it works,” he said, borrowing Sin City’s famous phrase. “What happens in Columbus, ends up in the White House.”Not to be outdone, Las Vegas proffered gifts and alcohol to the members of the RNC, sponsoring two lounges on either side of the convention hall where the body is meeting, complete with wifi and open bars. When guest arrived, the Las Vegas contingent presented them with a gift box complete with fitted fleece vest, a trucker hat, a T-shirt, and a leather folio, all embossed the convention aspirants’ official logo. Glossy collections of menus of the city’s top restaurants and spectacular images of the area’s vistas were inside. In a subtle critique of their competition, the Nevada team’s video closes on the slogan, “Las Vegas is ready. This is what we do.”A team of staffers were still decorating the space Wednesday as the convention began, as the city’s official pitch video, heavily focused on its ability to handle such a large-scale event, played on loop. ”They’re doing it right,” said one RNC member.
One interesting thing the Vegas group is pointing out is:
On the forefront of many members’ minds is logistics. Their delegates, alternates, and state officials generally stay together as a block. In Tampa, some commuted more than an hour each way to the convention site from hotels in far-off suburbs. Las Vegas says it can host the entire convention population within a radius of one mile, a bar no other city, save New York, can hope to meet.I wonder if someone has been reading this blog? If not that means the Las Vegas group knows the problems that plagued Tampa and know they can do much better, and it seems they want to win.
“Las Vegas is truly the only city in the world that’s evolved to host people; we’re exceedingly good at it,” Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, said in an interview Wednesday. “This is what we do.” Krolicki is also chairman of the Las Vegas 2016 committee.
Finalists to host the 2016 convention are expected to be named in February, so for would-be host cities, the national committee winter meeting is the best opportunity to make a strong first impression.
To do so, it’s traditional for competing cities to roll out the red carpet for attendees with special receptions and cocktail hours. But this year, the Las Vegas 2016 team decided to leave the usual display of glitter, cocktails and showgirls at home. Instead of wooing by wining and dining, the home team is opting for an approach based on a concept you don’t often hear associated with Las Vegas: Subtlety. [Edit]
But the RNC is discussing possibly moving its convention in a way that could play to Las Vegas’ favor, Krolicki said. Should the RNC move up the convention from August to July or even June, as RNC officials are currently contemplating, the convention would fall during the comparatively dry season in Las Vegas-based events — meaning the potential economic cost to resorts of doing this political business would be far less.
And furthermore, Krolicki pointed out, though Las Vegas has long kicked around the idea of the convention and in past years, ultimately kicked it to the curb, this year, Republican officials and tourism officials are on the same page.
Even if political differences remain among the factions of the Nevada delegation, everyone is united around the notion — to the point of clamoring for credit — that hosting a convention would be good for Las Vegas.
The list of Republicans in tow to make the pitch to the RNC is long and connected: Among others, Krolicki is being joined by Las Vegas 2016 Chairman Jack St. Martin, Republican National Committee Regional Director Chris Carr, Republican strategists Ryan Erwin and Mike Slanker, and former Gov. Bob List.
They are working with limited time. On Friday morning, RNC members will elect eight representatives who will join former Utah Rep. Enid Mickelsen, appointed this week by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as chairwoman, to a site selection committee. Site scouting visits will likely follow in the spring.
Nevadans are not expected to be a part of the site selection committee, List said, and Krolicki insisted that the Nevada committee members and guests would not be gunning for any particular individuals to be on that nine-person committee. A final site selection is expected by late summer.But alas not everyone is happy that Vegas is in the running. From the mightyED MORRISSEY
No doubt, Las Vegas knows how to handle big events. It’s also a place that advertises with the now-notorious slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” — except it when it comes to a political convention. Other cities have plenty of opportunities to create public-relations and legal trouble for Republican delegates and officials, but no other city is so well designed for that purpose, or has the concentration of potential trouble that Las Vegas does.At the risk of angering the blogger gods, I disagree with Ed's take on Vegas. Yes, Vegas does have its vices, however, EVERY city has its vices. Anyone remember how Tampa was know for its strip clubs? Where were the reports of "public-relations and legal trouble" from Tampa?
Conservatives threw a convention in Vegas once before, in 2012, it was called Right Online.
Was there any public-relations and legal trouble" from Right Online attendees? Not that I can find (and I was there). In fact everyone had a great, not mention fun time. To be honest, Vegas was great place to hold Right Online 2012 and I wish more conservative  would hold thier conferences in Vegas, not less.