The Republican party will be holding its national convention next week in one of the most liberal cities in the nation. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the leader of the Iowa delegation to the convention, says the party event “should really be held anywhere BUT New York City.”Grassley says he can understand why New York was picked so soon after September 11th — as a show of support for a city that had been attacked. But Grassley says “when you stop to think about all the places that Republicans need help to re-elect (Bush), a Midwestern position would have been much more appropriate for the nominee.” That nominee — President George W. Bush — is to deliver a major speech on Thursday, the concluding night of the convention. Grassley says Bush needs to talk about just two things — the economy and iraq, and Grassley says Bush has to be very clear about Iraq. “Bush has to explain why, how long and when we get out,” Grassley says. Steve Roberts, one of Iowa’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, is already in New York City. Roberts has been involved in all sorts of meetings this week, and talked with Radio Iowa by cell phone yesterday. I asked him whether he’s scared about the prospect of an attack of terrorism. Roberts says with all the security that’s present in New York City, Madison Square Garden may be the safest place in the world to be next week. “I’m not a person of great courage, and yet I feel pretty secure,” Roberts says. Senator Grassley says he’s probably not as worried as he should be. Grassley says “too many Americans don’t realize the risk” of terrorists wanting to attack “to make a political statement.” Listen to special convention reports on Radio Iowa next week and go on-line to read Radio Iowa news director O. Kay Henderson’s special “convention notebook” — the ‘net heads call ’em blogs — on www.radioiowa.com.
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