Love him or hate him, watching the leader of the free world spin the opposition on its axis is somewhat entertaining. This week President Donald Trump baited Governor Roy Cooper of the beautiful state of North Carolina into debating the complete reopening of his state – the location of the August Republican convention. Apparently, the dragging of feet and gnashing of teeth finally wore a hole in the president’s COVID-19 play nice armor, and the gloves came off.
Trump’s Republican friends in high places – namely Governors Brian Kemp of Georgia, Greg Abbot of Texas, and Ron DeSantis of Florida – have offered their open-for-business states to host the hoopla. They have good reason other than just support for Trump; its big business, bringing multiple millions of shekels to the host location. An infusion of cash for local economies struggling to stay afloat would be welcomed.
Governor Kemp tweeted: “With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention. We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realdonaldtrump!”
DeSantis went a bit further in his pitch, citing the health and safety of convention goers and local vendors:
“If he’s going to do a convention, obviously he’s going to want to abide by whatever they’re saying. So if we can get that done and do it in a way that’s safe, that would be a huge economic impact for the state of Florida.”
It’s Been Done Before
Moving a major event involving thousands of people is no easy task. The RNC has had folks on the ground in North Carolina scouting, planning, lining up vendors, and working out traffic plans. There are multiple moving parts to coordinate into a seamless event.
It would be a daunting and difficult task three months from kickoff – but not impossible. Think back to the 2000 election: When the dust of the dangling chads settled, planners had 39 days to pull off a full schedule of Inaugural events.
Does Trump Care Where the Party Lands?
The president has the remarkable ability to bait the opposition into doing what he wants – which is usually just to look a bit crazed and foolish. It’s simply infuriating for his enemies, and hilarious to his allies. But the simple political fact is Trump has Texas and Florida electoral votes nearly tied up in a perfect bow – North Carolina would be a big win in November. And for all his tweet teasing, he seems bound and determined to hold the big bash in Charlotte, NC.
Dangle the carrot, and then whisk it away:
“I have zero interest in moving the Republican National Convention to Doral in Miami, as falsely reported by the Fake News @nytimes in order to stir up trouble. Ballroom is not nearly big enough & would like to stay in N.C., whose gov. doesn’t even know if he can let people in?”
Is he taking a page out of his own playbook? Let the wails and hand wringing from the left begin in earnest.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.