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Inside Politics

Lady Liberty ready for her close-up


vert.liberty.jpg
One of many lamppost banners around Madison Square Garden
SPECIAL REPORT

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Democrats have been here five times, but come Monday the dress rehearsals will cease and the real deal will begin for the Republicans, who will gather in New York for the first time for a party at a very patriotic-looking Madison Square Garden.

Gigantic banners have been unfurled and secured to the building. Red, white and blue banners decorate the post office across the street.

Even the lampposts bear smaller banners of former Mayor Ed Koch, which read, "The Republicans are coming -- make nice."

The streets around the venue are partially blocked off to traffic and congested with media crews lugging cameras and equipment into the Garden.

Of course, there's a buffer zone around the site of the Republican National Convention made up of police cars and emergency vehicles and cops walking a very secure beat.

Democrats have held five of their conventions in the city. It's the GOP's first.

New Yorkers vote predominately Democratic for president, and in 2000, Al Gore took New York with 60 percent.

Now that each night of the convention is scheduled and scripted, how will the Republicans fare?

And how will New York City fare? Lady Liberty answers that question in another lamppost banner, which reads, "Welcome to New York ... We are ready for our close-up."


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