OKLAHOMA CITY, November 12, 2013 — Most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote an article on the possibility of Chicago hosting the 2016 GOP Convention. Chicago is the city built on Daley style politics and where Frank Sinatra referred to as My Kind of Town. But would Mayor Emmanuel, a Democrat who has credentials with the Obama and Clinton administrations, welcome the 2016 GOP Convention in Chicago?
The Democratic Party dominates the city of Chicago with not one single Republican member in the City Council. In the 2011 Chicago Mayoral election, not one Republican candidate was on the ballot. The last Republican mayor of Chicago was William Hale Thompson, elected two times 1915-1923 and 1927-1931.
Yet talks of the 2016 GOP Convention have surrounded Mayor Emmanuel and his administration. The current hostile takeover of TEA Party members in Congress along with its voters have made it hard for the GOP to diversify its voter base with young, Hispanic, African-American and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Tran-sexual) individuals.
Chicago is a world-class city with convention centers, hotels, restaurants, public transportation and airports suitable enough to handle a political convention. Mayor Emmanuel is looking at the GOP convention as a moneymaker for the city, not as a political statement. Chicago would also offer the opportunity for the GOP to showcase its need to attract voters such as young, Hispanic, African-American and GLBTA individuals that have been shunned from the Republican Party because of the TEA Party antics with issues such as immigration reform, healthcare and same sex-marriage.
When it comes to protecting convention attendees Mayor Emmanuel would not hesitate to show commitment to protecting attendees as the Chicago Police Department showed during the 2012 NATO convention. The GOP needs to diversify in reaching out to voters in areas once seemed out of reach of the GOP establishment. Chicago has a growing Republican voter based with political groups such as the Chicago Young Republicans telling young people that being a Republican in a Democratic dominated city should be nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
If the GOP decides to have the 2016 convention in Chicago it will show commitment to voters of diversifying its political base and also proving that the TEA Party does not control the GOP agenda.