THE HOST CITY: A Touch of Class in the Heartland

Kansas City turned itself inside out to prove that it is a big-time place with small-town friendliness. Giving a party became a civic obligation. Hospitality was evangelical in its fervor. Kansas Citians greeted arriving Republicans, journalists and celebrities with simulated parchment scrolls entitling "the Bearer to see Missouri in all its Grandeur" and signed by Republican Governor Christopher Bond. To the 4,518 delegates and alternates, merchants and town leaders contributed burlap tote bags stuffed with gifts and guidebooks and stamped with elephants encircled by large hearts (symbolizing, naturally, the nation's heartland)....

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