U.S. presidency: The job that keeps on giving
By Andrea Sachs/Philadelphia
September 20, 1999
Web posted at: 3:49 p.m. EDT (1949 GMT)
Guests at next summer's Republican National Convention in
Philadelphia can start planning for the 55 different parties,
lighted boat parade and fireworks that will spell out G.O.P.
2000. But they can't start planning where they're going to stay.
Edward Rendell, the popular Democratic mayor of Philadelphia,
instituted a tough "no whining" policy for local hotels to
ensure that Republicans get a warm welcome. Rendell, who intends
to run for Governor, needs the convention to go swimmingly.
"They're not allowed to book anybody," says Rendell. "Every
hotel has guaranteed 90% of its room block for that week.
They're not allowed to take one reservation until the Republican
National Committee meets next spring with the putative nominee."
Despite the edict, one room has already been booked. The guest?
Former President George Bush. He was in Philly giving a speech
and asked for the $1,400-a-night Presidential Suite at the
Rittenhouse Hotel. Who could say no? Not David Benton, the tony
hostelry's general manager, who has been taking "tongue-in-cheek
flak" from his competitors ever since. But the rule that no rooms
can be booked still stands, says Rendell, unless "the person
asking to book the room is a former President whose son is the
--By Andrea Sachs/Philadelphia
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Cover Date: September 27, 1999