Baratunde Thurston, Writer, Comedian, WNYC Special Correspondent
Baratunde Thurston is the author of the book How to Be Black, former digital director of The Onion, and founder of baratunde.com
Conventions, like sporting events and tax breaks are supposed to generate business. That's the deal we make, but if I were to judge by the cab drivers and my Tampa area friends, the dollars are down for the RNC so far. A staff member at Malio's Prime Steakhouse had Sunday night reservations down 66 percent from the average. All of my cab drivers said business has been down for weeks leading into the RNC as locals stayed home or skipped town. My friend who's lived in Tampa for years said people were stocking up on supplies at Target, not to prepare for Tropical Storm Issac, but to batten down the hatches for Hurricane GOP 2012.