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Who's up, who's down as the RNC leaves town

And so the end has arrived.

The arena is empty, the protesters have fled and the streets are quiet except for the low rumble of the Florida bus searching for its hotel. Yes, the 2012 Republican National Convention is no more. It came, we saw and Isaac darn near conquered.

In the end, it turned out to be three days of rain, heat and a long list of dull warmup acts. Think of it as Woodstock with less nudity.

For those of you who live and work outside of downtown Tampa, the RNC was probably no more than a blip. It didn't attract many celebrities, it didn't produce must-see public events and, unless you own a hotel, it probably didn't put money in your pocket.

So, in case you weren't paying attention, here's a quick recap of who left the convention going up or down in the polls.

Anarchists: That's it? That's all you've got? A few hundred people wearing scarves and chanting slogans? There's more angst and anarchy when a video game breaks down at Chuck E. Cheese's.

Jane Castor and her deputy, Barney Buckhorn: The Tampa police chief not only handled protests and security threats flawlessly, but she also was a star in press conferences and TV appearances. She looked more like the face of Tampa than her sidekick, Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Chris Christie: Let's be honest, it's not easy to position yourself for the 2016 Republican nomination while trying to be sincere about the 2012 ticket. Christie's keynote address on Tuesday night did not pull it off.

Condi Rice and Jeb Bush: Now that's how you set yourself up for the future. You play it cool. You appear compassionate. You speak like a statesman and you act as if you are above tawdry partisan politics.

Chamber of Commerce: Meth labs, bugs, strippers, Waffle Houses, mafia tales, bankrupt malls, guns, sweaty pits and an unpopular governor. National coverage of the Tampa Bay area did not follow the AAA guidebook version. Where were the stories on the beaches? The museums? The … okay, maybe they were somewhat accurate.

Charlotte: The bar has not been set terribly high for a successful Democratic National Convention in North Carolina next week. While Tampa did a strong job of handling the event itself, weather and minimal buzz were beyond the host city's control.

Ted Nugent: True conservatives apparently are not interested in hearing a pompous right-wing rocker from Mitt Romney's home state.

Kid Rock: Drunk conservatives apparently thrilled to hear pompous a right-wing rapper from Romney's home state.

Honesty: The Rays gave up a Sunday afternoon gate, St. Petersburg residents endured road closures and barricades, city officials worked overtime to stage the RNC kickoff party and now it appears taxpayers are on the hook for $600,000 in party bills after being told all costs would be covered? What's the line from Animal House? "You %#@&ed up. You trusted us."

Technology: There was a rumor Romney would be introduced Thursday night by a hologram of Ronald Reagan. The plan was apparently scrapped when the hologram looked more lifelike than the nominee.

Charlie Crist: The enemy of all Republicans.

Charlie Crist: The darling of all Democrats.

Who's up, who's down as the RNC leaves town 08/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:30pm]
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