Here's how Cleveland compared to Tampa as GOP convention site
Maybe Tampa was 10 years too early in hosting a political convention.
I walked toward my gate Friday in Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport and, as I often do in airports, thought to myself how much nicer and easier Tampa International is.
But this time — and not just because three different cheerful volunteers handed me free water and thanked me for coming to the convention — I had to admit Cleveland showed itself off better hosting the Republican National Convention than Tampa did four years ago.
These are similarly sized cities, with nearly 400,000 people each, and both share similar something-to-prove attitudes that convention cities like New York or Philadelphia don't. Both had bids to host a political convention rejected before they landed the GOP. Both have the challenge of limited downtown hotels and had to house some of the 50,000 conventioneers in less than convenient locations. (Staying in Clearwater Beach sure beats staying in Akron, of course.)
What mainly set Cleveland apart was its downtown.