Every four years, America has a national election. And every four years, Americans pretend that our huge political confetti-tossing fiestas are integral to picking the next president. Students of history and the Electoral College, of course, know that the conventions are as important in picking the presidential candidates as they are in forecasting the weather. By the time the party faithful start grinding out the speeches, the deal is done.
So why do we have conventions? Why do young people fall in love? Why do birds sing? Why do the Koch brothers try to buy elections? Conventions are just what political parties do. These events give normally sensible people a chance to dress up in ugly red, white and blue clothing and say mean things about the sartorial decisions of those other guys, in that other city, at that other convention.
Plus, strippers. You will recall that Tampa, where the Republicans held their last national convention, deceptively claimed the title of “strip club capital of the United States.” We in Las Vegas, which actually is the stripper capital of the United States, somehow kept our guffaws to a minimum, probably out of respect for the little Florida’s city’s sad efforts to fluff its reputation.
So if strippers are what you’re looking for, we got ‘em. Our friend Steve Sebelius, the Review-Journal columnist (and former CityLife editor), somehow managed to avoid this very obvious selling point when making his pitch last week for Our Fair City to host either party’s big party in 2016. He did note, however, that we have the Numero Uno contributor to the Republicans, in Sheldon Adelson, and the No. 1 man in the U.S. Senate, with Harry Reid, plus a lot of convention space and a wholesome reputation for political honesty and clean government. Okay, he didn’t make that last point, but outside of those formerly elected leaders who have actually done time, we are at least as wholesome as any other once-mob-riddled city (note to actual 2016 GOP convention hopeful Kansas City: We mean you).
Sebelius chose to ignore our wholesome wholesomeness and instead mentioned, presumably as a negative, “Las Vegas’ reputation as a den of gambling and alcohol-soaked iniquity.” (You’d think those things would lock in a Democratic convention, at least.) He pointed out, however, that New Orleans has been a convention city, as has New York, San Francisco, Chicago and St. Louis. None have sterling reputations. We’re just a little more honest about our “alcohol-soaked iniquity.”
So how about it, Democrats and Republicans? Since the hard work will be done by the time you actually have your conventions, why not maximize the fun factor in your dreary political lives and come to Las Vegas?
We had you at “Kansas City,” didn’t we?
Your friends at CityLife