CLEVELAND — What happened outside Quicken Loans Arena the past few days represented one of Cleveland’s finest hours.
What happened inside was the Republican Party’s darkest.
History will recoil in horror over the Donald Trump freak show, a descent into darkness that represented a seminal moment in the breakup of a once-great political party.
From an organizational and logistical standpoint, Cleveland threw a perfect event. As host of the Republican National Convention, it was a city prepared to handle any problem.
The list of people who deserve credit for that is a long one – with those involved with making downtown Cleveland the planet’s safest place worthy of special mention.
Mayor Frank Jackson is as modest a man as you’ll find in elected life. If things had gone badly, Jackson would have gotten most of the blame. Nevertheless, on the morning after the convention ended, Jackson was his laid-back self, just barely reaching for the credit he clearly deserved.
“We were criticized for not being prepared, for panicking, and all that stuff,” Jackson said. “I didn’t respond, but we were prepared. If you do the political thing and make a lot of noise, you’ll get some immediate notoriety. But people who know the game aren’t going to take you seriously.”