Dallas really wanted to host the Republican National Convention this year. Although the matter was settled two years ago when Dallas lost out to Cleveland for the 2016 convention, the sting apparently hasn’t faded. In March, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, said that “Dallas is a city that is on the global stage and on the national stage” and that he “long[s] for every national championship, every important arts event and every political event that takes place in America.” Last month, he told the Dallas Morning News that Dallas is “markedly a much better convention city.” Not that he was trying to disparage Cleveland! “It’s just a fact of what’s better and what’s worse,” he said. But, alas, the RNC went with the battleground state of Ohio instead of Dallas. So what’s a city to do at this point? Keep moving on? Go on with life? Nope: you get petty.
As the July 18 convention kick-off gets closer, Dallas devised an ingenious high jinx that’s so salty you can’t help but applaud it. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau attempted to buy up $50,000 worth of advertisement space in Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport. So as politicians, journalists, protesters, and the GOP faithful stroll through the airport upon arrival, they’d see ads about how much better Dallas is and come to the realization that, yes, Dallas is markedly better than Cleveland. Then, possibly, they’d carve out some time during the year to visit Dallas and its wide range of major tourist attractions—like a shopping mall and the spot where a president was assassinated. But this plan for a “Grand Old After Party,” was thwarted when Cleveland rejected the ads.
The ads, which would have popped up at baggage claim, threw some subtle shots at the fact that Cleveland doesn’t have all the hotel space necessary to host the droves of people who will turn up at the RNC. In May, CNN reported that California Republicans were assigned a hotel 60 miles outside of the city. Harmeet Dhillon, vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, was not pleased: “It sucks to be California,” she told CNN. “We’re like the ugly stepchild. They need us for our cash and our donors, they don’t need us for anything else.”
If it’s any consolation to Dallas, though hosting a national convention for either of the two major political parties in America is a tremendous honor, this one in particular seems like a good one to lose out on. Donald Trump elicits a bounty of emotion from detractors and supporters alike. Everywhere he goes, some sort of fiasco seems to rear its head. Who knows what havoc he would’ve brought to Dallas?
Texas is well-versed in city rivalries. We abhor all 620 square miles of Oklahoma because Oklahoma is markedly no good. San Antonio and Austin are a warring faction—look no further than the Great Breakfast Taco Debate of 2016. Austin raises its nose at Dallas and Houston (who hate one another equally), and Dallas aspires to be just like the most posh parts of Los Angeles and Manhattan with a little bit of a Southern drawl. But now Dallas’s jealousy has a new sweetheart, and it’s a place that doesn’t even have a single Neiman Marcus, only one Nordstrom, and zero Tony Romos.