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As we hit the one year anniversary of Katrina, and as we are almost exactly two years away from the 2008 Democratic and Republican Conventions, I wanted to revisit the question of whether the parties should hold their conventions in hurricane-prone cities.
When New Orleans was still a major contender for the Democratic convention, I claimed that the chances of a hurricane actually hitting a specific city during a convention was so low, that it was unfair to rule out New Orleans as a site for this reason. And it's not just New Orleans (which hosted the GOP in '88); it's also Miami, which has hosted multiple conventions, Tampa, in the running for the GOP in '08, and Houston, which hosted the GOP in '92. Unless you want to put a permanent hex on these cities' tourist industry every late summer/fall, it just wasn't fair.
Let's look at it another way. The Democrats were in San Francisco in 1984. In 1989, a major earthquake hit during the World Series. If the earthquake had happened 3 years before the convention, would the Democrats have been justified in going elsewhere? I don't think so.
Well, that's all well and good, but 24 hours ago, it looked like a hurricane was heading towards the west coast of Florida. (Luckily, the threat has lessened since then). Ohio blogger Psychobilly Democrat has been following the GOP site selection process because Cleveland is in the running, and he writes:
Just thinking out loud, but if I'm part of the committee deciding where to place the next GOP convention, I'm realizing that about 2 years to the day from now, the 2008 RNC Convention is slated to start.This is not good timing for Tampa's bid.
I'm remembering that just a year ago, again almost to the day, Hurricane Katrina rumbled through the Gulf Coast and came ashore in Louisiana and Mississippi with 125mph winds, strong enough to earn Category 3 status.
I'm watching Tropical Storm Ernesto bearing down on Florida.
And I'm thinking: Tampa Bay isn't such a great choice, is it?