I’ve been all over America during my life, but this is my first stay in Cleveland. Here’s what I learned on day one:
Apparently Cleveland has a professional basketball team, and apparently this team recently won its first-ever NBA championship in a huge upset, and as a result ALL residents of Cleveland are required to wear T-shirts celebrating this accomplishment. It’s very endearing, and it may be one reason why everyone we met around town today was friendly and in a really good mood. And also because it’s not winter.
This was Cleveland’s first major sports championship since 1964, when Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona was the Republican nominee for President. That election did not end well for the GOP, but I would note two important distinctions: 1) Sen. Goldwater was supported in that election by Hillary Clinton, a tough endorsement to overcome; and 2) the Republican Convention that year was held in a cow palace in California, not in Cleveland. No cows are expected to attend this year’s festivities, although cows may be the only thing NOT on the list of “prohibited items” delegates can’t bring into Quicken Loans Arena. (Even “baseballs” are on the prohibited list, which strikes me as fundamentally un-American.)
More politics tomorrow as we begin meetings to determine the Republican platform, but today’s observations lead me to my first political prediction of the fortnight: Donald Trump will shock the world and sail to victory when he chooses LeBron James as his running mate. You heard it here first.