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Some Texans feel snubbed by hotel assignment for GOP convention


The following ran on the July 24, 2012, edition of the Austin American-Statesman. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

August 1, 2012

By Tim Eaton

For most of the past three decades, Texas delegations to the Republican National Convention have enjoyed elite status.

Not anymore.

The five election years when George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush was on the ticket as president or vice president offered Texas a certain level of prestige, including prime hotel assignments.

But now, without a Bush to drive the delegation to the toniest and most convenient hotels — as well as prime floor space at the convention — some members of the Texas delegation are feeling a little snubbed.

The Texans have been assigned to a hotel about 25 miles away from the convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, home of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri said he would have preferred to be across the street from the Forum or, at least, close to the beach.

Instead, the delegation will eat, sleep and meet at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. The resort boasts two 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature courses, 45 tennis courts, a European-style spa and seven restaurants, according to its website.

But for all the niceties, it still is one of the hotels farthest from the convention hall ...

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, called it the "Texas cheerleader syndrome," which he described as the way slighted Texans — who consistently deliver the biggest bloc of Republican electoral votes in presidential elections — act like the Hollywood version of a sideline beauty who cries, "They hate me because I'm beautiful," Jillson said....