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Robert Trigaux

Early betting on economy: Lavish lobbying parties may be hard to find at Tampa's RNC this August

Wake up and good morning (and happy Memorial Day): Early betting on "K Street" or the mighty lobbying industry of Washington suggests Tampa's Republic National Convention in August may be more subdued than expected -- or hoped for by local businesses seeking enriched cash flow. That's the assessment of Politico, the political reporting web site. Read more here.

Why the turnoff? It's apparently a combination, says Politico, of Tampa's infamously muggy summer weather and, more to the point, Mitt Romney's blandness and incompatibility with the more typical party scene of national conventions. Says Politico:

"Many of the K street outfits that are going plan to cut back from years past -- hosting lunches instead of blowout parties, for instance."

Convention spokesman James Davis is also quoted, commenting on the economy. "The economy is in a bad place. While people want to have a presence, maybe they are being more strategic in some of the initiatives and events they are planning."

Translation? RNC dollars spent in Tampa are likely to be leaner and more hyper-focused. That suggests Tampa Bay may not reap quite the windfall it is hoping for. But it is still early and, as a reporter of past national political conventions, I'd say the odds are good that parties will gain in size and budget as we get closer to the late August celebration of the GOP.

And as an aside, don't assume Romney is some skinflint who runs around his multiple homes turning off unnecessary lights. Check out this New York Times story from Sunday and this earlier piece in the Los angeles Times which shed light on the elite and astoundingly expensive hobby of Mitt's wife, Ann. It's called dressage and, for those less familiar with it, it involves (as the NYTimes describes it) "horses costing up to seven figures" that "execute pirouettes and other dancelike moves for riders wearing tails and top hats."

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times


[Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 7:57am]


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