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Las Vegas gets its first national political convention

November 30, 2010 |  5:28 am

Libertarians rehearse for their 2012 national convention in Las Vegas

Finally, the desert city of Las Vegas breaks the ice and gets its first national political convention.

The Libertarian Party will gather there the first week of May 2012 to nominate its national ticket of guaranteed losers.

The Libertarians' choice of Nevada along with the Republicans' choice of Tampa for their 2012 nominating convention in late August means the country's two major parties have now settled on their meeting sites.

The only one left is the fringe third-party Democrats, who haven't agreed yet on one of four cities: Cleveland, Charlotte, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

Some unions recently expressed opposition to North Carolina as a right-to-work state, and.... Cleveland, which is said to be low in terms of union hotel jobs. Although it's Rep. Dennis Kucinich's hometown. And President Obama has gone to that crucial battleground state a dozen times, although Democrats lost all the statewide races on Nov. 2 and some House seats.

Goshdarnit, Sen. Al Franken really likes the idea of convening in Minneapolis. Its next-door neighbor, St. Paul, welcomed the 2008 Republican National Convention, which picked John McCain and Sarah Palin as its nominees. They didn't win. The Democrats gathered in Denver that year to not pick Hillary Clinton as their standard-bearer. They won anyway.

St. Louis hasn't been the site of a summertime national convention since Woodrow Wilson's second nomination in 1916 during World War I -- something about the impenetrable humidity of that Missouri city in August. Since 1916, many places in Missouri have added air conditioning.

Wayne Allen Root, the Libertarians' 2008 VP pick, told Citylife's savvy Steve Sebelius that Las Vegas was the party's pick in part because of its low taxes, small government and large number of showgirls. No, just kidding about that third part. It really was Nevada's emphasis on personal freedom, which Libertarians are said to like.

Also Democrat Obama infamously ordered convention-goers to steer clear of spending government loans in Vegas, which has never been too particular about the origins of outside money as long as it's incoming.

So, if Libertarians can drive home their ideological point through their site selection, help the local economy that hasn't been helped by the Democrats' alleged stimulus package and tweak Obama at the same time, hey, why not?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times (file).