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.


4 Responses

  1. Many excellent points in this post, pt. The planning and execution were indeed masterful, and I was proud to see one of Florida’s (and perhaps the country’s) most beautiful cities showcased. I didn’t know that about the conduct of the Tampa Police Department, but I’m very pleased to hear it. THAT is how police are supposed to conduct themselves. Defuse tension, don’t escalate it. I am reminded of the New Orleans Police Department, which has suffered a number of well-deserved criticisms, especially since Katrina. And yet, for years they have managed Mardi Gras when there are a million people on the street. They are frequently called in to consult on crowd management in other cities.
    The only part of the RNC convention I watched was the last 20 minutes of Romney’s acceptance speech. I intended to watch Rubio, but just couldn’t make myself do it. So I missed Rice and Eastwood (!) too. I will probably watch about the same amount of the DNC convention, because these are cheerleading events, full of sound and fury.
    Finally, no one should have been insulted by the President’s comment, because it’s true. What’s been made of this is wholly hysterical. Seriously. $50 million in Federal money helped to build the Times Forum. That’s called economic development. It’s absurd for any business, large or small, to claim in this day and time, that their success was due to their efforts alone.

  2. Finally, no one should have been insulted by the President’s comment, because it’s true. What’s been made of this is wholly hysterical. Seriously. $50 million in Federal money helped to build the Times Forum. That’s called economic development. It’s absurd for any business, large or small, to claim in this day and time, that their success was due to their efforts alone.

    Well I have worked with small and large business in economic development and they were all insulted, perhaps enraged would be more accurate. Fighting mad even more so. No levity in the insult.

    Before a business can even earn a single dollar it has to pay taxes to the government just to open up, so it starts off when it can least afford it in the hole.

    Government itself does nothing without the tax money provided by its citizens. Specifically for the general services the citizens want. So saying its the government that stimulates business is denying the fundamental freedom of choice. People come to America to escape government regulation and tyranny not to embrace it. It’s why we were founded and flourished. Building roads and bridges and providing public safety is what government is supposed to do. No gold stars or merit badges for that. And that does not start or run a business.

    Tax money is often used to build buildings, but it takes a business to absorb the profit and loss generated by its existence. In most cases the business was already up and running before the venue was built.

    Government at best can be business friendly which means it does its job well and with the least possible red tape. But it doesn’t build business. Except in non democratic countries.

    No business people are laughing over this and the more they are dismissed the angrier they get. It’s a game changer.

  3. I didn’t watch the RNC nor will I watch the DNC.

    I saw a poll somewhere that asked about these and the plurality said that it’s a waste of time to watch staged shows like these. Just a giant political infomercial.

    As for who built what…this is enlightening:


  4. sc we could go all the way back to Rome Greece and Egypt to talk about slaves. Pre civil war discussions really aren’t relevant to today’s business world. The nation paid a bloody bloody price for that sin but introducing it to today’s dialog isn’t helpful After all we have a Black man in the White house now and the issue is not what happened generations ago but the job he is or isn’t doing right now.

    My College Major was American Studies and I am interested and retired so I can afford to watch conventions. If American politics are a waste of time to people in the polls they have the freedom to not watch and remain hunkered down in their chosen pastime. And they retain the freedom to vote even if that vote may be uninformed. . Some who have spilled their blood to protect those freedoms don’t take the same view.and are not so blase about it all.

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