Should the RNC go to Vegas?

posted at 5:01 pm on April 13, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

As the GOP continues planning the big nomination shindig for 2016, (yes… it takes that long to organize) they are considering a number of different host cities. One of the possible options under discussion is Las Vegas. Ed discussed this possibility back in January along with a few of the possible pitfalls and alternatives, but the push is still on and the deadline for a decision is approaching. It’s certainly worth a look, but some prominent social conservatives and religious leaders are warning the GOP against tossing the bid that way.

Some of the heaviest hitters on the religious right are pressuring GOP leaders to cross off Las Vegas as a potential host city for its 2016 convention, warning that putting the next convention in Sin City will harm the party’s image and drive away supporters.

Dallas already pitches itself as a more wholesome alternative to Vegas, and the push-back could bolster the city’s effort.

The leaders sent a letter last week to Republican chairman Reince Priebus, putting him on notice that picking Vegas would generate friction. They call the city a “trap waiting to ensnare. … What could go wrong? The answer is obvious.”

Doug Mataconis seems to think that Sin City is a non-starter.

A political convention in Las Vegas would certainly be an epic event, and there’s no question that the city has the space to handle the crowds that either political party would bring. At same time, though, Las Vegas still has a certain, shall we say, reputation that I am guessing neither Republicans nor Democrats would want to be associated with during an election year. The potential shenanigans, and resulting headlines, pretty much write themselves. Add to that the fact that Las Vegas in the summer can reach temperatures exceeding 100°, and I’m thinking that the RNC will be looking elsewhere for a convention site. My personal guess is that the Republican Convention will end up being held in either Cinncinnati, Cleveland, or Kansas City, all safe Mid-Western cities and all of them far away from any threat of hurricanes.

I believe a lot of the concerns expressed here are a bit overblown, but that doesn’t mean that Vegas is a great choice either. First of all, the worries that the GOP conventioneers are suddenly going to lose control of themselves and wind up in hundreds of hotel rooms, missing teeth and trapped in the bathroom with a tiger and Mike Tyson are humbug. And if the temptation exists to get up to such hijinks, Las Vegas hardly holds the patent on it. When I attended the last RNC in Tampa, the walking exit by the bay was within sight of a huge Hooters sign as soon as you left the security boundary. On the ride over to a nearby neighborhood for a sponsor’s party we passed a number of young ladies hanging around on the street who were… well, let’s just say that if they were meter maids, the Casual Friday dress codes down there are way beyond those in any other precinct. You can get into trouble in any large city if you’re really so inclined.

As to Doug’s concerns about the heat, I’ll risk repeating myself. See: Tampa, 2012. It was brutal. And when the temperatures weren’t in the upper 90’s with a humidity level which had to have been around 380% we were getting hammered with thunderstorms which threatened to spawn tornadoes.

Really, I’m not sure how much benefit the party gets from selecting any particular city, nor is the benefit always obvious for the host town. I suppose there’s a small argument to be made for hosting the shindig in a swing state like Ohio or Florida, but the benefit they realize in jobs and increased business is temporary and limited to a single county for the most part. The party also brings its own share of problems. The people of Tampa were enraged (at least if you listened to talk radio) because the security was so tight that a huge section of downtown was locked off from all non-conference traffic (driving or on foot) for several days behind a wall that was compared to the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Still, if you’re going to get some benefit out of it, you might as well do it where it may win a few votes in a needed area. For that reason, I’m tempted to agree with Doug and say that one of the two cities in Ohio might be the best choice. They can handle the traffic and every vote counts with the Buckeyes. Plus, it will be a much shorter trip for me.

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Last time I crossed the Mac was in my brother’s VW Westfalia

I used to drive semis. Try crossing the bridge in one of those.

307wolverine on April 13, 2014 at 9:59 PM

In my opinion, as long as Las Vegas and Nevada choose to be represented by Harry Reid, the GOP should NOT have a convention there.

COgirl on April 13, 2014 at 10:24 PM

No, NOT Vegas! It’s a Reid wasteland.

francesca on April 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

I used to drive semis. Try crossing the bridge in one of those.

307wolverine on April 13, 2014 at 9:59 PM

No thanks, but that’s still better than a Yugo.

Flange on April 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

If Billy Graham can go to Vegas, why can’t the RNC?

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on April 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

The NV GOP took abortion and gay marriage out of the state party platform. They can host the LP convention.

ezspirit on April 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Well, Nevada has a Republican Governor and the congressional delegation is split down the middle, so it’s more than Harry Reid.

BUT while you can find trouble anywhere, in Vegas trouble comes to you and offers free buffet tickets. And it is not that all or most or even many delegates would get snared by the sin traps, it’s that for Republicans it only takes one or two.

No Republican has ever been elected President without Ohio. And there is much less trouble to get into at a Reds game.

Adjoran on April 13, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Once again, the RNC will waste their opportunity supporting Harry Reid’s voters.

lonestar1 on April 14, 2014 at 12:09 AM

NO! NO! A thousand times NO! I’d rather die than say yes!

Nevada keeps electing Hairy Reid. Nevada is controlled by the unions. Why should Republicans give Nevada anything? If after all that has happened, and after the Bundy Ranch attempted takeover, engineered by the Reid family, After the Nevada republican RINO party engineered to defeat the tea partier running for the senate. Why should we recognize them or give them any money. We have been blaming those from Nevada for engendering and supporting our ills for a long time, particularly when they could have done something about them. Why give them any more of our money?

Ohio might be a good choice to reward them for leaving the dark side. However, the location of the Republican convention has never done much to move a swing state to the repub side. As a greater symbol, I suggest Dallas. Kansas City might be good, but I think it would be a reward for Sibelius.

Old Country Boy on April 14, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Should the RNC go to hell is a better question.

rickv404 on April 14, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Some of the heaviest hitters on the religious right are pressuring GOP leaders to cross off Las Vegas as a potential host city for its 2016 convention…

Is this REALLY due to “the religious right”? Making it appear as such does take the responsibility off the RNC, or, discourage the focus being on the RNC for the location-decision.

Las Vegas isn’t a good choice because of the illegal alien/”cheap worker” issue predominantly that that area is involved in. And Sheldon Adelson, I’m sure, has a lot to do with that and with the RNC considering a LV convention.

It’s a big country, the RNC should be wiser than convening in LV, particularly due to all the Leftwing/underground economy/illegal alien/Democrat money hustling taking place there.

Lourdes on April 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Maybe the RNC should consider holding the convention in tents on some guy’s ranch in Nevada, outside Las Vegas. That’d make a great statement.

Lourdes on April 14, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Went to Vegas in the middle of July for my anniversary. 115 degrees. Could not even get in to the car. Like opening an oven when you went outside. Lots of luck if they pick it.

Barred on April 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Palm Springs loiters around 125 degrees for most of the year except a few months in the “winter” when it’s “only” about 85 or 90 degrees at noon.

Lourdes on April 14, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Went to Vegas in the middle of July for my anniversary. 115 degrees. Could not even get in to the car. Like opening an oven when you went outside. Lots of luck if they pick it.

Barred on April 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

That’s why you park in a garage, if at all possible. Which for the RNC, will be mighty possible…

JohnGalt23 on April 14, 2014 at 9:16 AM

If the hurdles are: finding location with good hospitality available close to major transportation…safe and enjoyable for RNC attendees…

then why not Branson, Missouri?

Lourdes on April 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM

By having the 2012 convention in Tampa it helped the GOP carry Florida in November.


HornHiAceDeuce on April 14, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Great idea! It helps to support Harry Reid…it helps to support the unions who back him…brilliant!!!

Forget a Conservative city or state…let’s help the Democratic party and democrat politicians…brilliant!!!

Karmi on April 14, 2014 at 9:48 AM

It was announced at my district assembly that Denver has made the cut as one of the cities being considered. Ryan Call has noted that it would be held at the Pepsi Center. We do big events well here in Denver (the 2008 DNC convention was here) and I’m hoping it will be us!!

littlekittie on April 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

The only reason to fault Vegas is the people that live there keep electing Harry Reid. I suggest Indianapolis, a great convention city, of course they may already have something else booked.

Wallythedog on April 14, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I vote for Indianapolis

Keith_Indy on April 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Well, if it would discourage conservatives from showing up, the RNC would be all for it!

TerryW on April 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Vegas has Harry Reid, no way
Dallas, I used to live in Dallas. Weather forecast for Dallas June 5th thru Sept. 21th Hot High near 100, slight chance for a brief afternoon thunderstorm. Indianapolis, it’s like to be a much more comfortable mid 80’s for the highs, all the good restaurants, Hotels and bars are within easy walking distance of the massive convention center complex.

Wallythedog on April 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Ed is right–there are too many traps in Vegas. What about the possibility that some delegates might play slot machines during their off hours and be filmed by the lefty media who put it on the front page? Or that some paparazzi pays a scantily clad dancing girl to snuggle up to the GOP nominee for a second and snaps a photo, which goes viral and destroys his election chances?

Denver might be a good option–although Colorado has elected Democrats in recent elections, the renewed focus on oil and gas development might help voters focus on developing the state’s resources, and those of the Rocky Mountain region.

Dallas might work if the nominee is Rick Perry or Ted Cruz, but there might be some backlash in the lefty media (sorry, I repeat myself) against another “cowboy” President after George W. Bush.

Of the two cities in Ohio, Cincinnati seems like the better choice–it is more politically balanced, and less likely to have protesters burst into the convention center than Cleveland. Cincinnati could provide an excellent platform if John Kasich or Rand Paul is the nominee.

Steve Z on April 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Of the two cities in Ohio, Cincinnati seems like the better choice

I would not recommend Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a major unresolved race problem, with a real possibility of a race riot breaking out in close to the downtown convention area.

Wallythedog on April 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Ah yes, Nevada, he State that gave us Harry Reid . . . of course the RNC should go there.

rplat on April 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

IMHO – Vegas is a “no go”

Not only bad optics, but too much potential for innocent actions to become scandalous photo bombs – and far too many opportunities for “staged” scandals. We just don’t need the headache.

Pick somewhere nice, traditional and with lots of churches for the delegates to be seen visiting on Sunday.

2nd Ammendment Mother on April 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Why not, they’re already in their sister city (DC)? ;)

kregg on April 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Well, considering how the Nevada GOP seems to be pandering to Dems, it’s a match made in heaven.

He Who Some Call A Traitor on April 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Went to Vegas in the middle of July for my anniversary. 115 degrees. Could not even get in to the car. Like opening an oven when you went outside. Lots of luck if they pick it.

Barred on April 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

1. Anyone going to Vegas would’ve valet’d their car & it would’ve been in the hotel’s parking garage. By the time it gets to you, the a/c would’ve been on & yes you could get in the car.

2. At 115 degrees the complaint is its “like an oven when you go outside.” It takes about 5 minutes to get your car or get a taxi and you can wait inside the lobby so……

I laughed when I read this post. I get the feeling they really really wanted to get out of that hotel room!

I’d like to know how was that anniversary trip anyways?

athenadelphi on April 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

My choices are Las Vegas or Colorado.

Either place would be fine.

Conservative Samizdat on April 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I vote for Denver. Colorado is fabulous in the summer!

francesca on April 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

A battleground state, somewhere that didn’t elect Harry Reid would be great.
Not a fan of Las Vegas, the entire city was built by the mafia to fleece pensioners out of their disposable income.

V7_Sport on April 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I vote for Denver. Colorado is fabulous in the summer!

francesca on April 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Cue the video of the GOP fundraisers blowing the donations in the legalized pot store…

V7_Sport on April 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

No! They gave us dingy Harry one more time.

Kissmygrits on April 14, 2014 at 8:01 PM

If Billy Graham can go to Vegas, why can’t the RNC?

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on April 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

The Republican Party has too many people that can’t “control themselves” in a Las Vegas environment.
The Rev Billy Graham and those on his staff don’t generally have that problem.

listens2glenn on April 14, 2014 at 8:55 PM

I’m still looking for a good reason not to go to Detroit. If they make the decision soon, Detroit has a chance to put things in place. They could have a video a night about the policies that got Detroit in the shape it’s in and what they would do differently. Point to the contrasts between Democrats and Republicans and keep making that point. However, you have to be careful to keep the tone right. It can’t be an in-your-face message it has to be an “I feel your pain message” and “it doesn’t have to be this way.” message.

The Democrats have done nothing for Detroit and it’s a city that still has potential. Spend time talking about solutions, not only for Detroit,but for the country. Detroit is one city that has the same problems as California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. The solutions that work in Detroit can go on and work in other areas. People can get jobs again.

I want the Republican Party to start fighting for this country instead of allowing the Democrats to hide behind the race card. Call them on their race card and trump them with their failed policies.

bflat879 on April 14, 2014 at 9:24 PM


tenore on April 15, 2014 at 8:22 AM

I wouldn’t so much as use a pay toilet in Nevada. Not as long as that dried out, pinched up nasty excuse for humanity even visits Searchlight.

Mr. Grump on April 15, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Let me suggest Wisconsin for the RNC. Downtown Milwaukee. What’s not to like? It is Scott Walker Country!

psychocyber on April 15, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Why give money to Harry Reid’s state? Are you kidding me? How about Florida?

searcher on April 15, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Also, for those suggesting Colorado, do we really want our representatives to be associated with Denver and it’s “rocky mountain high?” There’s a PR nightmare just waiting to happen.

searcher on April 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Yes, the RNC needs to go Las Vegas for their National Convention because they have invited Sen. Reid, and he should be able to find it. If held anywhere else Sen. Reid would have difficulty finding it.

Maybe, the RNC should also consider holding it in conjunction with “Burning Man” to get the largest turn-out possible.

MSGTAS on April 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

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