City Club Meets At Happy Dog
On Friday, July 22nd, we had a great time attending a City Club Friday Forum regarding the RNC that just ended the day before. But, in this case, this Friday gathering was not held at the City Club; it was held at the Happy Dog on Detroit Avenue instead. City Club CEO Dan Moulthrop said that it was first Friday forum ever held there so he instructed us to cheer loudly when he said "Happy Dog" during his introduction so we very loudly did.
We got there early and had a great vegan hot dog with some wicked toppings on it and visited with our friends since quite a few were there. To be sure, the Happy Dog was packed with people. We even got to sit next to a very nice lady who told us that Margaret W. Wong and Associates helped a good friend of hers obtain her citizenship.
Before the program started Ms. Stephanie Jansky, Director of Programming for the City Club, passed out re-productions of the button that the delegates wore at the 1936 Republican convention which was the last time Cleveland had hosted the convention of one of the two main political parties in the United States before this week.
The program for the day consisted of Mr. Moulthrop moderating a panel discussion wherein the panelists were Ms. Micki Byrnes, President and General Manager of WKYC-TV; Ms. Jeananne Chadsey, Republican Political Consultant with Chadsey and Associates; Mr. Hugh Hewitt, Host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on Salem Radio Network; and Mr. Paul Singer, Politics Editor of "USA Today." Of course Mr. Trump and his acceptance speech along with his chances of being elected President of the United States were discussed. Mr. Singer made an interesting observation when he said that Mr. Trump undoubtedly "nailed his message" in his speech but he has no organization in place in order to move forward but, by contrast, he believed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a great organization but no overriding message.
Mr. Hewitt dubbed Mr. Trump (who he intended to vote for) as "Nelson Rockefeller without the art collection" but gave him credit for creating some great buildings. We, ourselves, tend to agree with Ms. Chadsey, who majored in political science in college, when she said from a political science perspective, Mr. Trump is "a study in itself."
As far as the general election in November, the panelist indicated that a deciding factor would be which candidate inspired enough of his/her people to actually go and vote.
Ms. Chadsey reallly liked Ms. Ivana Trump's speech especially because she advocated for equal pay for women and paid maternity leave for young mothers. Ms. Byrnes said that at her morning staff meeting everyone there had positive things to say about Ms. Trump. Ms. Byrnes noted that her staff was composed of a very diverse group of people which means Ms. Trump's appeal is very widespread.
But, according to everyone at the Happy Dog, the big winner of the week was Cleveland, Ohio itself.
Mr. Hewitt said, "I did not meet anyone who complained about it at all." He then went on to say that he believed that people not from here saw what a great place that it is.
Ms. Byrnes said that having the convention here was not about politics, it was about Cleveland pride. Of course a lot of people were worried that there would be a last-minute disruption of some kind but it all turned out okay. Later in the program, Ms. Byrnes credited Mr. Dave Gilbert and all of the people who worked hard to make this convention a success. She noted that almost as soon as it was announced that the convention would take place here effective committees were formed and there was open communication throughout the entire process. What's more people were "authentic" in terms of expressing what they wanted and needed.
Ms. Chadsey said that at first things were a bit awkward in the planning stages because a city that was 3 to 1 democratic would be hosting the Republican convention but "everything went off without a hitch." She said that Cleveland "was a great city" and she loved the way Clevelanders greeted the conventioneers with glowing smiles.
Mr. Singer said that the RNC was "a great success for Cleveland" and then praised law enforcement for finding the right balance between security and allowing people to express their views. He talked for a moment about how bicycles innovatively used by the police and thus a model for the future might have been established.
Everyone was happy that the RNC was the impetus to complete the Public Square project which will remain with us always. One person asked how the RNC helped outlaying areas like Collinwood and it was admitted that it probably didn't but at least those kind of conversations were taking place now.
One more thing about Mr. Hewitt, he had to leave before the program ended due to another commitment. Before he left, however, he suggested, only half-jokingly, that in lieu of the back-to-back successes of the CAVS and the RNC, Cleveland should "put in" for the Summer Olympics.
We never thought of this before but...
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