Big Apple is big winner after RNC
By Bill Schneider
(CNN) -- The reviews are coming in. "Great performance!" "Exceeded all expectations!"
The president? No, the winner of this week's political Play of the Week.
To many New Yorkers, it looked like "The War of the Worlds.'' An alien invasion. The red world invading the blue.
Republicans in New York! A city where, they say, even the Republicans are Democrats!
Critics predicted catastrophe like Chicago 1968. But the critics forgot something. New Yorkers know how to deal with problems. Including monstrous tragedies.
The convention was a major test of the city's post-9/11 security system. How did it do?
"I'm proud to say by any standard we passed this one with flying colors," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.
The protesters had their say in true New York style, shouting phrases like, "Bush lies, people die!" and "No more years!"
The protests were loud but overwhelmingly orderly. They made their point without handing the Republicans a campaign issue.
"The organizers for United for Peace and Justice should be commended for keeping their word," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "They pledged that the demonstrators would follow the march route, and that's what happened."
During the Democratic convention in July, terrified Bostonians abandoned their city. But New Yorkers disrupt their routine? Fuhgeddaboudit.
"Parks were open and safe," Bloomberg said. "There was no change in subway service and no major disruption to commuters."
President Bush made exactly the point he intended to make by bringing Republicans to New York.
"My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say, 'Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose,'" Bush said in his speech Thursday.
And New York City made exactly the point it wanted to make, too.
"The convention will reinforce public confidence in our capacity to handle big events," Bloomberg said.
Especially with the political Play of the Week in hand.
New York is making a serious bid for the 2012 Olympics. And for BOTH parties to hold their conventions here next time.
You got a problem with that?