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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cleveland vs Tampa

Football? Baseball? Then what? They appear to be the two odds on cities to host the 2008 GOP convention.

I truthfully believe the Presidential conventions are dinosaurs. A waste of time and money. The nominations are long sewed up before these stage managed events take place. All it does inconvenience a city for a week and rake in dollars for hotels and restaurants. The cities spend millions to get these headaches. A true act of self inflicted headaches. Who says I am the only masochist in Florida.

Good luck Tampa.

Open Post- Wizbang, Bullwinkle Blog, Basil's Blog,

By all accounts, Tampa has a pretty good shot at landing the 2008 Republican National Convention. Many agree that Tampa's stiffest competition might be Cleveland.

Both cities are in key battleground states, expected to prove pivotal in the 2008 election.

Political significance is one factor the Republican National Committee will consider when deciding where to hold the convention. Weather, attractions, transportation systems and convention facilities are among a host of other factors.

Cleveland's history is rooted in manufacturing. The city at one time was considered a center for oil and steel production. The current population stands at more than 450,000.

Tampa, a port city, has a strong Cuban tradition and had a prosperous cigar industry. Tampa's population is about 330,000.

Sam Fulwood, a columnist for The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, predicts the event will go to Tampa.

"Our history of losing, particularly in sports, might be a deterrent for the Republicans to come here," Fulwood jokes.

He also thinks Tampa has a leg up politically: "The president is going to want his brother to throw his going-away party."

The Republican National Committee will decide by January. New York and Minneapolis also are vying for the event.

Here's a look at how Tampa and Cleveland stack up:

TAMPA: Conventioneers can expect sunny skies, high humidity and afternoon thunderstorms. Early September averages a high of 90 degrees and a low of 76 degrees. We also have those pesky hurricanes to worry about.

CLEVELAND: Conventioneers can expect sunshine and generally pleasant weather. Early September averages a high of 76 degrees and a low of 58. Hurricanes? No need to worry about those coming off of Lake Erie.

TAMPA: Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is a Democrat; St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is a Republican. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, is a Republican. Florida is considered a significant state politically, with 27 electoral votes up for grabs. The 2004 presidential election was decided in Florida.

CLEVELAND: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is a Democrat. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft is a Republican. Ohio, like Florida, is considered a presidential battleground state, with 20 electoral votes. President Bush squeaked out a narrow win in Ohio in 2004.

TAMPA: The Tampa Museum of Art still is struggling to relocate into a new home, more than a year after plans for a new museum designed by Rafael Vinoly were pushed aside. Tampa has Busch Gardens and The Florida Aquarium. St. Petersburg has the famous Salvador Dali Museum. Pinellas County has miles and miles of beaches, some considered among the best in the country. Tampa also has nightlife in Ybor City, Channelside and, of course, at the strip clubs.

CLEVELAND: The Cleveland Museum of Art is undergoing a $258 million renovation and expansion project. The architect? Rafael Vinoly. Cleveland also has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a hugely popular tourist destination, and The Cleveland Orchestra is world-renowned. Farther away is Cedar Point Amusement Park. For nightlife, people head to the Flats, a redeveloped industrial warehouse area.

TAMPA: Home to high-end steakhouses and seafood gems such as Bern's and Armani, and to the mom-and-pop Italian and Spanish haunts of south Tampa and Ybor City. The area is the birthplace of the Outback Steakhouse and Hooters chains.

CLEVELAND: Downtown offers a number of top steakhouses, including John Q's, and seafood eateries such as Hornblower's Barge and Grill, a floating restaurant on Lake Erie next to a submarine museum. The city also boasts dozens of ethnic restaurants, including plenty of servers of pierogies - a Polish dumpling stuffed with cheese, potatoes and other vegetables.

TAMPA: The city tried to dub itself a "city of champions" after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2004 Stanley Cup, joining the Buccaneers and arena football's Tampa Bay Storm in reigning over their respective leagues. In the first week of September, however, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are usually out of playoff contention, and the team plays in a domed stadium considered among baseball's worst.

CLEVELAND: Columnist Sam Fulwood of Cleveland's Plain Dealer newspaper has a point about his city's reputation for losing. Think Cleveland Browns and you think of "The Drive," John Elway's 15-play, 98-yard masterpiece that helped win the 1987 American Football Conference championship game and broke a city's heart. The Cleveland Indians are a rebuilding baseball team that plays in a state-of-the-art outdoor stadium, Jacobs Field.

Public Transportation
TAMPA: Tampa has no rapid transit system, and most commuters depend on their cars to get around. HARTline's buses move people throughout the city, but many complain that buses don't run often enough. Downtown has a rubber-wheeled trolley system as well as an electric streetcar, but, again, people complain that the hours are inconvenient.

CLEVELAND: The city runs a bus and rail system serving downtown. The red-line train runs from Hopkins International Airport and passes through the main terminal downtown. A waterfront line serves places such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland also has a downtown loop bus service.

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