Message to Kansas City, Denver and Cleveland about the 2016 GOP national convention: Y’all aren’t the competition for the event you think you are.
Dallas’ real rival is only 15 minutes away, but Jerry Jones’ stadium has already been ruled out. Sort of.
When it comes to hosting big events around here, there’s a giant sucking sound that comes from what people in Dallas call Jerry’s World, or the Death Star. That’s the $1 billion otherworldly stadium he built over the county line, in Arlington.
Boasting the human race’s biggest everything, Jerry’s force field sucked the Dallas Cowboys out of Dallas County and sucked the Cotton Bowl game out of the city’s Cotton Bowl stadium. In short order, he vacuumed up a Super Bowl, NBA all-star game and NCAA Final Four.
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Here’s the delicious irony in the razzle-dazzle to woo the 2016 Republican bash: Since Jerry’s place is too far from enough prime hotels, the giant sucking sound is working in Dallas’ favor. Jerry threw the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders into the pitch to GOP site-pickers, let them gawk at his sports palace and tossed out the idea of holding a convention bash there.
It looks grim for the bunch of you. Consider comments from Republican site-selection committee chair Enid Mickelsen during visits to the other cities. Her quotes, my interpretation.
What she said in Cleveland: “I think your people are your strongest asset.” What she meant: Some delegates would have to stay in Akron? Seriously?
What she said in Kansas City: “There’s a great sense of tradition and community spirit here.” What she meant: B-O-R-I-N-G.
What she said in Denver: “I’m a Mormon Sunday school teacher from Draper, Utah.” What she meant: Your pot laws are the road to sin and degradation.
Here in Dallas, Mickelsen sounded a tad tongue-tied to me, after boosters made an ostentatious pitch — live pachyderms and everything — that betrayed a philosophy that there is no shame in Texas extravagance.
What she said: “What can I say?” What she meant: I just saw the balance of your checking account. I’m in awe.
Sure, Dallas still needs a few million to hit the $60 million in pledges the party wants. It wouldn’t surprise me if city boosters told the GOP that they’d just poke a hole in the ground and frack their way to the magic figure.
If it takes calling on Texas mythology to win this contest, so be it. Jerry would be proud.
Rodger Jones is an editorial writer for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.