WaPo: Could LeBron James Delay GOP Convention?

Image: WaPo: Could LeBron James Delay GOP Convention?

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 07:23 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Republicans are planning their 2016 nominating convention in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and the Cleveland Gladiators Arena Football League team play their games.

The Cavaliers were not expected to need the site by the time the GOP conventioneers came to town.

That could now change.

News that star player LeBron James, a free agent, may return to the Cavaliers could upset the sensitive summer timetable by raising the prospects that the team might take part in  2016 National Basketball Association playoff games, according to The Washington Post.

The team went 33-49 last season but with James on the roster it could become a contender to win the NBA's Eastern Conference and even advance to the finals, the Post reported.

Republicans want to hold their convention in the blue color town to burnish their image among working Americans and because, historically, no Republican since Calvin Coolidge has made it to the White House without winning Ohio, according to the Post.

The multi-ethnic city also fits into the strategy of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to showcase the party's solutions to urban challenges. Moreover, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a possible presidential contender and the state's Republican Sen. Rob Portman pushed hard to bring the convention to Ohio.

If James returns to a victorious Cleveland, Priebus may have to abandon his wish to start the 2016 assemblage on June 28. For now, plans are for the convention to start either then or on July 18, Fox News reported.

It could take about six weeks to convert the facility from a sports to a political arena. If the Cavaliers become a winning team, either the playoff games would have to be held far from Quicken Loans Arena or the GOP Convention would have to be put off until July.

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