*While Tampa is the would-be host city, the bid was submitted in the name of Tampa-St. Petersburg. Regional players are on board — even the former chairman of the Orlando bid committee. The Tampa-St. Petersburg bid is the de facto Florida bid, with Gov. Jeb Bush as honorary chair. This state hasn’t hosted a national political convention since the GOP visited Miami in 1972.
*After reviewing RFPs from both Democratic and Republican conventions, Orlando eventually passed. It shocked no one. It has an arena that isn’t adequate for the NBA, plus it’s a tourism and convention Mecca with bookings three and four years out. A national political convention could be a net business loss.
*While some have waxed worried, if not apocalyptic, about Tampa’s wherewithal to handle hordes – as in the hundreds of thousands — of demonstrators, host committee chair Austin remains his Republican unruffled self. At a recent media briefing Austin observed that “Some of the numbers you saw about New York were highly inflated