600 pasty State Senators getting heat stroke as Trump enters hour 3 of a soliloquy about the largest boat parade in history https://t.co/h7VNMiD5YD
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) July 9, 2020
Foggy Bottom denizens at the Washington Post take a little private glee in denigrating Florida’s late-summer weather:
… While no decision has been made, Republican officials are studying two outdoor professional sports stadiums near the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena where the convention is currently slated to be held. They are also looking more broadly into the logistics of pulling off an outdoor convention, according to two Republicans involved in the planning…
Trump was recently briefed on the options of moving the convention away from the indoor arena, officials said, and is expected to make a final decision in upcoming days.
Republicans involved in the planning believe there could be less risk of transmission and spreading for attendees in a larger outdoor arena than in the stadium, and attendees may be less concerned about taking part in such an event…
An outdoor convention could pose its own set of problems, however. Florida is particularly hot in the summer, with temperatures often climbing to 100 degrees, and rain is also a threat.
Republican officials have looked at the 121 Financial Ballpark, which hosts minor league games and seats about 11,000, and the TIAA Bank Field, which hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars and can seat more than 65,000. Both arenas are within a short walking distance of the VyStar Arena, an indoor facility that seats about 15,000. Republican officials recently toured both sites during a series of meetings in Jacksonville, officials say.
A spokesman for the Republican Party declined to comment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Thursday that it’s unclear what the circumstances will be in late August when the convention is held.
“I think the convention is a challenging situation, and a number of my colleagues have announced that they’re not going to attend,” McConnell said. “And we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August to determine whether or not you can safely convene that many people.”…
The weekly count of admissions for coronavirus-like symptoms to health facilities in Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, has spiked to more than 700 from about 100 in early June, according to state health records. The county registered an average of 510 positive tests a day between June 29 and July 7, compared with 23 a day for the first nine days of June…
At this point, it honestly feels like McConnell and his minions are playing chicken with Dear Leader. You really wanna stand there at an outdoor stadium in the pouring rain, on camera, watching a bunch of amped-up old white people drop like flies?
In Jacksonville, in August — where the one thing you can count on (other than the tropical heat and humidity) is a heavy downpour sometime in the late afternoon….
— Peter Principle (@peter00003434) July 9, 2020
Opinion from someone who has been to Jacksonville for professional reasons — Charlie Pierce, at Esquire:
… President Petri Dish wants his big moment and, by god, he’s going to have it, even if it kills people, and it probably will. That’s why he jilted Charlotte in the first place.
… Jacksonville is a terrible place to have anything. I was there for the Super Bowl a few years back, and the hotel situation was so desperate that they put some of the high rollers on luxury yachts along the waterfront. The weather was hot, sticky, and the breezes felt like Velcro on your skin. And that was at the beginning of February. August must be absolutely delightful.
And all of that was without the efforts of the president’s Igor, Ron DeSantis, to turn Florida generally into a bioweapons lab. If there is another way the president* could have clusterfcked this convention, I don’t know what it is…
It’s not too late to move the whole thing to a cruise ship, is it? I hear there’s quite a bit of idle tonnage right now, for some reason.
Meanwhile, the list of high-ranking no-shows gets longer…
… Sen. Pat Roberts, 84, told reporters he has matters to take care of in his home state of Kansas as he prepares for retirement. He is not sure if the convention will happen or not, he said, but if it does take place he is unlikely to be there.
“I have some things to do in Kansas that I’ve got to do,” Roberts said. “And unfortunately, I didn’t know what was canceled and what was not or whatever, so I will probably not be” attending…
Maybe they can make up some of those laminated cards saying they’ve got medical exemptions.
NYMag has a list of previous decliners:
… In the past two days, five Republican senators have declined their invitations to the coronation beginning on August 24. On Monday, Chuck Grassley, the oldest Republican senator at 86, stated that he would not attend “because of the virus situation.” On Tuesday, 80-year-old Lamar Alexander joined him, with a spokesman for the retiring senator telling the Washington Post that he will not attend “because he believes the delegate spots should be reserved for those who have not had that privilege before as he has had.”
Three more senators who occasionally buck the president’s legislative agenda —Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, Utah’s Mitt Romney, and Maine’s Susan Collins — will also not attend. As the Post notes Murkowski “often spends August in Alaska,” while an aide for Collins told the paper that she has never attended a national convention in a year in which she is up for reelection. A spokesperson for Senator Romney did not provide a reason, though spending a week among the president’s most ardent supporters following his vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial doesn’t sound like the ideal summer trip…