Cleveland has suffered some bad public relations over the years and has made headlines for all the wrong reasons — poverty, pollution, foreclosure, bizarre crimes and a fleeing population.
Yet, thanks to billions of dollars spent burnishing the city’s image and its physical face, Cleveland is one of two finalists for the Republican national convention in 2016. It’s also a longshot candidate to host the Democrats, as well.
The city once dubbed “The Mistake by the Lake” will get a chance in August to show how well it can handle big events when the international Gay Games come to town.
The Cleveland area is a key battleground in a presidential bellwether state. But party officials say politics has less to do with Cleveland making the Republican convention short list than its technical capabilities to host the convention.