Rainman: the wooing of Republicans

They’re accustomed to counting votes.

But will some conservatives be counting cards in 2016?

A contender to host the next Republican National Convention, Las Vegas is among a handful of cities making their pitch this week to GOP leaders from around the nation to bring their tourist dollars to their fair metropolis.

The courtship is taking place against the backdrop of the minter meetings of the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., which conclude on Friday.

From ribs with Bob Dole to craft beers from Colorado, let the gift-giving begin.

“Tonight, Phoenix is putting on a hoe-down,” Jerry Labriola Jr., chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, said Thursday.

Phoenix in the summer? It’s a dry heat.

On Wednesday, organizers of Kansas City’s bid hosted a barbecue, where the guest of honor was former Sen. Bob Dole, the GOP’s presidential nominee in 1996.

Columbus, capital of the battleground state of Ohio, served GOP big shots homemade ice cream.

Denver’s goodie bag featured craft beer, in addition to its hometown brew of Coors.

And Las Vegas passed out vests, hats and shirts.

But there were no casino chips. At least not yet.

“You get little chotchkies from everybody,” Labriola said.

Neil Vigdor