Kansas City easily tops contest to host the 2016 GOP convention

06/20/2014 10:39 AM

06/20/2014 1:04 PM

A big shout-out from America’s heartland to Cleveland, Denver and Dallas: I do hope you recognize the odds (see Las Vegas’ early pullout) and will be good losers.

Cleveland: Obviously you’re toast. You are two-timing the GOP by entering the Democratic competition for convention host rights, too. That is like proposing to two women, each with the other looking on. Also, your Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no doubt a fun visit for aging boomers, presents a big negative narrative for the GOP: The party is as dated as the old rockers. Why broadcast the fact?

Denver: Let’s agree that the risk of GOP delegates wandering into a cannabis shop is too “high” to bear. The conversation would be dominated by GOP antipathy to legalizing pot, and raise the specter of the libertarian Republicans volubly disagreeing. That altitude presents nothing but headaches for the party. Also, anyone remember Denver’s last big political claim to fame? It would be President Barack Obama’s 2008 acceptance speech, in a stadium overrun with fans in full-rapture. If the GOP can’t top that emotional ride, why risk the comparisons?

Dallas: Face it, Texans, delegates posing for pictures with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders don’t do much for the family values storyline. Their shorts are too short. And nothing big happens in Dallas without the cheerleaders showing up. Also, your governor’s recent verbal gusher on homosexuality-as-a-choice-like-alcoholism doesn’t do much for the big tent pitch. Sure, Dallas has the big bucks, but Texas is Rick Perry’s state. There are at least three reasons why that’s a problem for the GOP, but we can only remember two.

(See counter views from Cleveland, Denver and Dallas)

Which brings the site selection folks happily into the Kansas City fold. KC is the bottom-line obvious choice. It’s a cost-effective, friendly, central All-American city where the mayor dances on the tarmac with the site selection leader. I didn’t see any dancing mayors elsewhere. Plus, there’s no better spin than a black Democrat giving the GOP a twirl on the tarmac. People in Kansas City are already volunteering to take in delegates interested in home-stay options. That’s friendly, and helps resolve the teeny glitch of available nearby hotel rooms.

Forget those flyover, boring barbs. This is Google Fiber’s first stop. Plus, delegates can fill their plates with multiple barbecue options and ease the fractious platform debates with smooth jazz. TV-friendly settings like the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum should help with the big tent cause. Heck, even Gov. Perry loves Missouri. He keeps coming around trying to raid our businesses.

To the GOP, you are free to choose KC early. No sense making the also-rans wait.

To reach Miriam Pepper, editorial page editor, send email to mpepper@kcstar.com; Twitter @miriampepper

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