In a week or less, the largely soulless parcel of parched desert known as Las Vegas—that old stopover for G.I.s on the way to the West Coast, as Hyman Roth noted—will be overrun by billionaires, marketers, C.E.O.s, groupies, hangers-on, partygoers, and Taylor Swift in advance of the Super Bowl. But for the past week, the town has played host to a decidedly less glamorous lot. It has served, in fact, as a hotbed of Republican political fervor.
On one side of the Strip, the Republican National Committee hosted its annual winter meeting—a confab where, as I reported last week, chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel had to awkwardly explain to committee members, just as the F.E.C. reports were released, why the party is in dire straits—with just $8 million cash on hand going into a presidential election year. At the other end of town, as my partner Tina Nguyen noted yesterday, the MAGA-aligned Restoring National Confidence convention served to throw shade at McDaniel while reminding the party that Trump is its de facto nominee and power should be thusly vested.