A week after Wisconsin began rolling out the red carpet for the Democratic National Convention this summer, President Trump comes to Milwaukee tonight for a rally at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Panther Arena.
Trump will speak just down the street from where the Bucks will play, sparking comparisons to what Milwaukee will be like when the convention comes here.
His speech also will counter a debate of Democratic candidates in Iowa, just three weeks from that state’s first primary.
Say cheese! We are in the middle of presidential politics now and throughout the year.
Wisconsin officials hosted news media from around the country last week at the new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, which will be center stage for the convention gathering July 13-16.
Democrat Gov. Tony Evers told a panel, “I truly believe Wisconsin will be the state that elects the next president of the United States. It was key last time, it’s key this time.”
And Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said the Badger State is “the center of the political universe right now.”
We like the attention, of course, and we’re buoyed by the estimated 50,000 visitors that are projected to visit here next summer and the projected $200 million the convention is expected to pump into the city and state economy.
Cash registers will ring at restaurants, catering businesses, bars and hotels.
But, we’re Wisconsinites after all, and we’ll take those estimates with a grain of salt, given our prudent and frugal heritage.
We’re aware of the fact that those economic impacts are often inflated and past conventions have often left lingering debts — and we’re not unaware of the reports that almost half of the Dem delegates will be hoteling it across the state line in Illinois.
Still, we have no doubt the economic benefits here next summer will be significant and that it gives Milwaukee and the rest of the state a chance to showcase our hospitality, our wares and the generous and welcoming spirit that Wisconsinites have always shown to guests.
So, no matter your personal political persuasion, let’s get ready to smile, be good hosts and welcome our guests.
That applies tonight, this summer and every time a presidential contender visits Wisconsin. We should see a lot of them in 2020.