The Democratic National Committee is scheduled to announce this week — or next — which city will host its presidential nominating convention in 2020. It's a huge deal for the city that gets it.
Pundits are predicting that the convention is headed to Milwaukee, but I’m hearing that Houston’s convention and tourism people deep-down are confident that the Democrat convention is coming here.
As in “99-percent confident,” according to my source.
That's a lot of confidence. Of course, it's the job of Houston convention and tourism people to be hopeful about Houston. If not them, who? There's also the small matter that we've spent nearly $5 million on bidding for the convention.
Three cities officially are in the running for the Democrat rally: Houston, Milwaukee, and Miami, but it’s really down to Houston and Milwaukee.
Here’s why Houston makes sense as the winner. It’s all about “delegate experience,” and “fun activities after hours” and hoping voters will remember and reward that party come next election.
You don't think New Orleans attracts all those conventions because its airport is efficient, do you?
It may come down to, where would you rather spend four days in July, Houston, or Milwaukee? Houston has more than enough upscale downtown hotel rooms, Toyota Center is sitting right there, and exciting restaurants line Avenida de las Americas.
For some of the delegates, and yes this counts, our adult entertainment clubs are beyond compare.
Banh mi over brats
No offense to Milwaukee’s brats ‘n’ beers, but wouldn’t you rather stuff yourself on authentic Tex-Mex, slow-smoked Texas BBQ, fresh Gulf seafood, and spicy Cajun gumbo and etouffee? Plus our Vietnamese cuisine is world class.
That question — where you rather spend four days in July? — could be an argument against Houston, however. Houston summers are no picnic, with temperatures in the 90s and humidity thick enough to chew. But I hear we have air conditioning now. Hey, summers in Milwaukee can get pretty toasty, too.
Bottom line question is: which city will help the Democrats win 2020, according to a friend who’s spent decades observing politics from the front lines.
Wisconsin has 10 Electoral College votes, Texas has 38.
Texas is the second biggest prize on the map, trailing only California with its 55 electors.
More important, says my political wonk buddy,“if the convention is held in Houston, and Beto O’Rourke works his magic during the campaign, and the Democrats win Texas in 2020, it could change presidential politics for generations."
As Bob Dylan said, the times they are a-changin’ — at least that's the Democrats' hope. The convention will be held July 13-16, which is earlier in the year than usual for a national convention. The main reason is so the convention avoids TV competition from the 2020 Summer Olympics, scheduled for July 24-August 9 in Tokyo.
Houston does makes sense for the Democratic Convention. But I am not a hard-nosed, Jim Acosta or Sean Hannity political bulletin-breaker. As Dennis Miller used to say: “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.”
Another kind of wrestling
And now for considerably more important news. Here are the results from WWE’s big pay-per-view spectacular, Elimination Chamber, held February 17 at Toyota Center.
Daniel Bryant outlasted five competitors in the main event to retain his WWE championship. Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated five opponents in an Elimination Chamber match to become WWE’s first women’s tag-team champions. Finn Balor took Bobby Lashley's Intercontinental title by pinning Lio Rush. I know, huh? It's complicated.
In a tremendous upset, the Usos took the Smackdown tag titles from The Miz and Shane McMahon. This after The Miz and his wife Maryse happily announced that were expecting their second child. Awww! Five minutes later, ouch!
Ronda Rousey made quick work of challenger Ruby Riott to keep her Raw women’s title. Then things got ugly when red-hot Becky Lynch entered the ring, uninvited I might add, and beat the daylights out of the champ and Charlotte Flair, who also had no business in the ring. Lynch, who is injured and suspended from WWE action, used her crutches to whack Rousey and Flair about 10,000 times. I’m not sure that’s legal, even in the WWE rulebook. I suspect Lynch’s suspension may be extended and perhaps she’ll be headed to anger management.
WWE also announced that its 2020 Royal Rumble pay-per-view will be held next January 26 at Minute Maid Park. The Royal Rumble is one of WWE’s “Big Four” events and will be telecast live to 180 countries. This will be the second time the Rumble has been held in a big ballpark. This year’s event drew 48,193 fans at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Royal Rumble will feature separate 30-man and 30-woman over-the-top-rope Battle Royals, with the winners guaranteed a championship match at WrestleMania.
The 2020 Royal Rumble will be WWE's 11th pay-per-view event held in Houston. The first was WrestleMania X-17 held in 2001 at the Astrodome. So far, we’ve hosted two WrestleManias, one Bad Blood, one No Mercy, two Tables, Ladders and Chairs, one Vengeance, one Survivor Series, one Elimination Chamber, and one Night of Champions events.