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    Newspapers' takes

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published July 19, 2002

    What other newspapers have been saying about Tampa's attempt to land the Republican National Convention:

    * * *

    Since Florida decided the last election, why not come to Florida to select your candidates? After all, the voters who may pick the next president will be in close proximity to the heavily air-conditioned confines of convention centers in Miami or Tampa.

    ...Florida seems to pose no clear disadvantages, except insufferable heat in July and August -- a factor that hasn't stopped the parties from going to New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston or Dallas.

    -- William E. Gibson, Washington bureau chief, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, July 14

    * * *

    The competition has gotten so intense that politicking has become sniping. Look no further than Al Austin, the Florida GOP finance chairman, who said, "A lot of people would have reservations about going to a convention in New York because of what happened on 9/11.'

    Actually, Al, Sept. 11 is the best reason in the world to bring both conventions right to the heart of Manhattan. Rally around the city. Give it a needed financial boost. Show our national resilience. Send a clear message abroad that we will never be chased out of our cultural and financial capital by a pathetic collection of cowards on the other side of the world. As a matter of fact, the attack draws us to it.

    Tampa, Al? Tampa?

    -- Brian McGrory, Boston Globe, June 28

    * * *

    Boston? Pleeeease. In a recent national survey Boston came in second behind ... Miami. Sure, it was a survey of the rudest drivers in America, but that just goes to show that no matter the task, we're always No. 1.

    And while Boston may have a tea party, we've got cafe con leche.

    Tampa-St. Petersburg? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    -- Anabelle de Gale, Miami Herald, June 27

    * * *

    Odds on hosting the Republican National Convention:

    Tampa: 2-1: Dubya's brother Jeb and a bounty of electoral votes look mighty sweet.

    New York: 3-1. Republican mayor and governor -- and 9/11 goodwill.

    New Orleans: 6-1. Boozin' in the Big Easy won't wash for Bush -- a reformed lush. Miami: 7-1. Has the same appeal as Tampa but Cuban politics could bite the nominee.

    Boston: 8-1. Teddy Kennedy's backyard offers little to Republicans.

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