Just a few notes on Tampa’s RNC. First I must include this disclaimer, I have lived in Tampa Bay by choice since 1972 with a few out of area detours in 1991-94. For many of those years I sold Tampa Bay, while working for Economic Development groups, so I am just a little biased. But a good salesman has to know his products limitations as well as strengths.  That being said I think The Tampa Community did an outstanding job hosting the event, and the RNC also presented an uplifting but hard hitting program. Dang sure outta be for the $100 Million price tag.

I know the amount of time and the thousands of planning hours that went into the 4 days of the RNC having worked on 2 Super Bowl hosting’s in Tampa. Putting the book together, only to tear out a full day and re format (because of the threat of Isaac) is a herculean task. So again my hat is off to the professional and short and long term volunteer staff that pulled this off.

Remarkably there were only 2 arrests during the protests. The elected officials did a fantastic job of focusing on safety, but it was the police department that executed a strong show of courteous and dignified force to the occupy protestors. They fed them box lunches and gator aid and disarmed them with kindness. Just remarkably conceived and executed.

The short term economic impact to Tampa Bay was significant. Hotels were filled and overflowing during a normally slow period. The better restaurants were jammed throughout the region as well. Sadly the small downtown eateries suffered a decline in business as the normal workforce was largely relocated and the protestors were kept away by the police force and secret service.

Long term  benefit potential is almost beyond calculation. The optic exposure to the world every news night  to a beautified Tampa Bayis as large as 3 Super Bowls, with an even larger world wide audience. The Tourist Development Council has to be overjoyed, and the economic development folks were provided with hundreds of solid prospects to pursue for business relocation and expansion.

It was the first National Convention if Florida in 40 years, and it came off without a hitch. Tampa was also fortunate that Hurricane Isaac tacked West.

Being a conservative I think the content of the agenda was also first rate with only a few glitches. I thought Condoleezza  Rice was by far the best speaker and delivered the most damming critique of the current administration when she said “ when the world sees that America can’t manage its finances they lose confidence in its ability to manage anything. When America does not provide global leadership it leaves a void that someone else will fill, and that someone may not be sympathetic to America.” And most effectively “You can’t lead from behind.”  I give high marks to Ryan, Romney, Susan Martinez and Nikki Haley as well.

I though the theme of yes we did build it was perfect. President Obama provided the perfect party differentiator when he said,” if you’ve got a business you didn’t build that, somebody else helped you.” That remark seemed to be off prompter and from his core of belief and it insulted every small business man and woman in America. It spits in the face of American entrepreneurship and capitalism that has built this country from the 17th century forward. He provided the rallying point for this year’s election,  and it may cost him dearly.

I will now watch the DNC to see if Charlotte and the Democrats can match the bar set in Tampa Bay.