It’s official — the Republican National Convention will do business up front in North Carolina while partying back in Florida. The RNC confirmed last night what the Washington Post had reported based on leaks a day earlier, which is that they will stage the first multi-city national convention. After a brief period of research, the GOP chose Jacksonville as the site for its major rallies and speeches, leaving the party business to be conducted in Charlotte for contractual purposes.
For the moment, the biggest hurdle will be the logistics. It takes a couple of years to plan out a convention, and now the GOP only has a couple of months to start from scratch in Florida:
The Republican National Committee announced Thursday that President Trump’s renomination speech and other convention festivities will move to Jacksonville, Fla., from Charlotte, after the original site refused to go along with Trump’s demands for a crowded large-scale event amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Washington Post first reported Tuesday night that the RNC has tentatively decided on Jacksonville for the event. Thursday’s official announcement caps off an extraordinary search for a last-minute convention site after Trump tweeted on Memorial Day that he wanted to move the convention to a city that would allow him speak in a fully filled arena. The RNC also indicated it did not want to require masks for Trump’s speech.
Some lower-profile events will remain in Charlotte because of signed contracts requiring some activities there. The RNC voted Wednesday night to radically pare down the official business of the convention, clearing the way to move the parties and ceremonial aspects of the convention to another place.
The change means that the GOP will have roughly 70 days to plan a series of events that typically take two years to work through. Political conventions, once a secretive process for elites to select their party’s nominee, are now largely for show. But they do serve purposes: kicking off the final leg of the presidential races, offering a high-profile opportunity for the candidates to sell a vision for the country and delivering a platform for the next generation of political stars in each party.