Republicans Looking To Pitch Their Big Tent At Tampa’s Strip Clubs

“Our party is a big tent. We can house many views on many issues.”
Lee Atwater, Republican strategist

The Republicans are coming
And they want to pitch their tent
They’re conventioning in Tampa
It’s a really big event

They’ll be boosting the economy,
The figures make it plain—
All the dancers know, the GOP
Knows how to make it rain

In their G-strings and their pasties
In their heels and platform soles,
They are well aware, Republicans
Are leading at the poles

And the delegates are grateful
As the dancers spin and writhe
While they’re not well-versed in tipping
They remember how to tithe

It’s their sacred obligation,
Putting money in the plate
Or the G-string of a dancer,
If the evening’s growing late

They’re conventioning in Tampa
It’s a really big event
The Republicans are coming
And they want to pitch their tent

In an essay sporting considerably more photos than most of their political stories, CNN reports on the preparations being made by strip clubs and dance bars in Tampa, site of the upcoming GOP convention.

Many clubs have taken out ads inviting GOP delegates “to party like a liberal” in a city where the “poles are open all night.” City officials say the convention, expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors, could be Tampa’s biggest party ever. Imagine all those rainmakers.
A strip club with a spaceship on the roof seems an odd place to expect Republicans. At first blush, one might not equate lap dances with the political party that wraps itself in buttoned-down family values.
But at convention time, even upstanding men seem to seek out undressed women. When the Christian group Promise Keepers held a convention in Tampa a couple of years ago, attendees flooded the 2001 Odyssey, co-owner Jim Kleinhans recalls. They had such a good time that “they kept their promise to come back the next night.”

“Party like a liberal”? Actually, the clubs are hoping they party like conservatives:

But if past conventions are any indicator, Republicans are likely to outspend Democrats heavily at topless bars and strip clubs, says Angelina Spencer. She heads the Association of Club Executives, an organization for the nation’s 4,000 “gentleman’s club” owners. The group talked to members in the host cities of past conventions.
“When we compared spending,” Spencer notes, “the average showed Republicans spending $150 per person at an adult club, versus Democrats, who averaged $50 a person.”

In truth, the section on the GOP connection is fairly brief; the piece itself is a neat, in-depth investigation of some of the individuals (owners, dancers, house moms) involved in the industry, and some of the history and first amendment battles these folks have been in, often against the party that will be making it rain next week.

Related story, via The Onion.


  1. says

    Do not forget the preparations being made at the gay bathhouses and by the city’s drug dealers. And I’ve heard that several of the city’s hotels have added additional hardware to handle the expected strain on their in-room porno offerings.

  2. Anonymous Atheist says


    Really, that Onion video is one of those times where if it wasn’t hosted on The Onion, it could easily not be ‘parody’.

  3. pipenta says

    You know Isaac is coming,
    with for boat full of fail,
    And what they call a tent,
    Will not make a good sail…

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    We do so love our double meanings here at The Digital Cuttlefish.

    Look no further than the first line of the verse above for illustration.

    Well, okay, look further if you want, but do so at your own risk.

  5. Crudely Wrott says

    Like the good book says, it’s the forbidden fruit that is the sweetest.

    When it comes to the party faithful (and being called a party is not taking the word in vain) the prospect of a really special rendezvous is an opportunity to let the strain of four years of posing with legs primly crossed let loose in one gigantic, ecstatic, fantastic and frantic . . . err . . . whoosh! that cannot, nay, will not be resisted. Prayers of forgiveness are optional the next afternoon if they wake up that soon, of course.

    It’s not like their moms are gonna be there, right?

  6. David Hart says

    Here in the UK, our conservative party is actually called the Conservative Party, leading to the one-liner “The Conservative Party? They sure do”.

  7. Die Anyway says

    for those of you not from the Tampa Bay area… The strip clubs in Tampa have an odd rule they must follow. If you serve alcohol the girls must wear the pasties and g-strings, but if you don’t serve alcohol they can go full nude. Seems odd to go into a strip club and only have water or soda but the clubs have been there for many years so I guess it must work out ok.

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