Yael T. Abouhalkah

March 5, 2014

Can Kansas City’s new video really woo the GOP convention?

Kansas City’s promotional video is one of those feel-good media spots that includes some very good reasons people live here. Chalk that up as a success even if — as is likely — one of the eight competing cities beats us out for the 2016 GOP convention.

If you love Kansas City, chances are you’ll like the promotional video that Mayor Sly James and others unveiled this week in Washington, D.C., to woo the 2016 Republican National Convention.

However, if you’re on the Republican National Committee, you more likely will be wowed by the

videos that Las Vegas and Denver have prepared.

They do a great job showing all their close-by hotel rooms, which are badly needed to host the convention’s delegates — and a decided weak spot for Kansas City’s bid.

My bet is that none of these videos will be the deciding factor when the committee later this year chooses where to hold its 2016 gathering.

But as noted,

Kansas City’s 2:35 minute video

can be fun to watch at times, though parts go by at a rapid-fire pace that becomes jarring. It also has an innocuous soundtrack. The video is titled “All roads lead to here,” followed by, “To the center of the nation, the heart of America.”

Another caveat: It shows a mostly white Kansas City, at odds with our minority population approaching 40 percent. Then again, we are trying to attract Republicans.

All three videos mentioned are linked to my column at kansascity.com/opinion.

So how did officials pitch Kansas City — mostly the Missouri side of the equation — as a great place to have the convention?

Many of the expected icons showed up, though there’s one mini-gastronomical surprise: Don’t look for a lot of barbecue. Or jazz, for that matter.

By the numbers, here are images of selected landmarks as I saw and grouped them, plus a few other tidbits:

12 — Downtown’s skyline

8 — Power Light District

7 — Country Club Plaza

6 — Positive catchphrases about Kansas City such as “Top 10 best family friendly vacation spots of 2014” and, naturally, “20 best cities for hipsters.”

6 — Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

6 — Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

5 — Sprint Center

3 — NASCAR track

3 — Kansas City Royals

3 — Union Station

3 — Kansas City Chiefs

3 — City Market

2 — Kit Bond Bridge

2 — Brush Creek gondolas

2 — Sporting KC Park

2 — World War I Museum

2 — Jones Pool, downtown

2 — Dave Busters Restaurant

1 — The Scout Statue, Penn Valley Park

1 — Barbecue sandwich closeup

1 — Google Fiber announcement news article

1 — Science City

1 — Kansas City Zoo

1 — Crown Center

1 — Oceans of Fun

1 — Argosy Casino

1 — Voice heard on the entire video: Ron-

ald Reagan’s, during the 1976 Republican Convention at Kemper Arena, where he lost the presidential nomination to Gerald Ford. Reagan’s statement: “We must go forth from here united, determined.”

While Reagan remains popular in GOP circles, it’s tough to see how including his long-ago speaking appearance is a compelling reason to return to Kansas City.

Overall, the video was short on showing where the Republican delegates might actually stay and spend much of their time — in hotels and convention rooms.

Still, it’s one of those feel-good media spots about Kansas City that includes some very good reasons people live here.

Chalk that up as a success even if — as is very likely — one of the seven competing cities beats us out for the 2016 convention.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos