I’m pleased to hear that the Republican National Committee has selected my hometown—Cleveland, of course—to host the first National Convention in Ohio since 1936, beating out Dallas. Hard to believe, but it must be true because I saw the news on TV and even on the Internet. How much truer can a fact get? It beats the hell out of the Cuyahoga River catching on fire, or the mayor setting flame—twice—to his hair. Sure, my age is showing. But some things are hard to forget, no matter how embarrassing. Like other rust-belt cities (except Chicago, I guess), Cleveland has historically been easy to put down as unsophisticated, not worthy of serious attention. Detroit without the glitter, baby. Even the Ghoul—lab-coated host of bad horror movies during the 1970s—often proclaimed, “We’ve got a tower that’s Terminal, overlooking a lake that’s Erie.” Pink lawn flamingos be damned, I say.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman is a genuine voice in favor of all things Cleveland. "I am really proud of the way the Cleveland community has come together to support the National Convention. The Cleveland community deserves the credit for making it happen. I'll continue to work closely with the Cleveland host committee and the RNC regarding convention planning to help whenever I can to ensure this is a successful convention." Say what you will, the "mistake on the lake" has much to offer beyond being the—ahem—butt of jokes. Aside from winning the Most Cs Uttered in One Sentence Award, Portman is sincere. "It's a unique opportunity to showcase the new Cleveland as one of America's great cities, and to bring dollars and jobs to Ohio." A genuine boost to hear this, and long overdue. I still wonder, though, if it's okay to call Cleveland "Baja Canada," which never failed to jolt Mr. Duffner, my high-school history teacher.