Shades of 2008. Remember how we mocked Barack Obama for hauling out the styrofoam Greek columns onto Mile High Stadium’s field for his acceptance speech as a demonstration of both his hubris and his supporters’ cult of personality?How many of us pointed out that a major-party convention venue provided plenty of glitz and spectacle without turning it into a circus? We laughed at Obama’s arrogance, and hauled out this picture every time he derided showmanship over substance:
And, er … remember how Obama won two elections anyway? Donald Trump certainly does. CNN’s Jim Acosta reports this morning that Team Trump wants to have the same kind of send-off for the GOP nominee at the end of the convention:
Donald Trump’s campaign is considering booking one of Cleveland’s big sports venues for his acceptance speech in July, two GOP sources familiar with the planning of the upcoming GOP convention say.
The sources said First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and Progressive Field, home of the city’s Indians baseball team, are the two sites under consideration for Trump’s acceptance speech on the final night of the convention.
One of the sources said the campaign is closing in on signing a contract for use of one of the two venues, with the football stadium currently the favorite for Trump’s speech.
“It’s going to be a big production,” a Trump campaign adviser told CNN. “Given Trump’s profile and how he handles things, nothing is off the table.”
It’ll be yuuuuuuge. And elegant! It will also be expensive, and right now there’s plenty of question as to how much cash Team Trump and the RNC will have at their disposal. (Allahpundit will have more on that shortly.) In 2008, no one could accuse Obama of spending resources that his campaign didn’t have on the event, even if the spectacle itself seemed like a waste of money.
If the choice comes down to the two venues noted, it would almost have to be First Energy. The Indians will be out of town that week so Progressive Field will be technically available, but they have to ensure the field is ready to use for its July 26th matchup against the Nationals five days after the convention closes. Besides, how would it look to have the GOP’s nominee accept the prize at a place called Progressive Field? (Progressive Insurance bought the naming rights for Jacobs Field in 2008.)
That leaves First Energy, a name that would certainly not contrast with Trump’s repeated assertions that he is the high-energy candidate in the race. The Browns won’t use the field until almost a month later in the NFL preseason. The only problem with using the Browns’ venue might be the Browns themselves. The stadium isn’t exactly known as a venue of champions, after all, but maybe (for Hugh Hewitt’s sake) Trump’s association will bring so much winning to First Energy that Clevelanders will get tired from all the winning. They’re certainly rested up now, though.
If nothing else, this will give lots of opportunity for Obama critics on the Right to apply their criticisms in an even-handed fashion … or to rationalize away the similarities. Should be interesting to see the choices. Meet the new normal in politics.