Saturday, March 11, 2006

Washington Post on New Orleans and convention dates

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I first noted it last week, and Sunday's Washington Post also discusses that the 2008 Democratic Convention will end one day before the anniversary of Katrina:

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Aug. 29, so it might not be surprising that there's already chatter about whether New Orleans will be the Democrats' choice when the DNC announces the host city this fall. In a poll of 4,000 people by the left-leaning blog Daily Kos, 28 percent voted for New Orleans, while 31 percent selected Denver as their top choice.
The anniversary is not what's causing the chatter about New Orleans. The city would have been the most "interesting" candidate regardless of when the convention was. The anniversary just adds one more factor into the difficult decision about whether to bring the convention to New Orleans.

The Post also discusses the impact of the date chosen by the Democrats:
The choice of the date -- and the announcement so far in advance -- is also tactically important. Democrats want to avoid what happened in 2004, when Republicans took a date in late August, forcing the Democrats to hold their nominating convention in late July to avoid competing with the Summer Olympics. As a result, presidential nominee John F. Kerry had to give his address a month earlier than President Bush and withstand an additional month of GOP attacks.
Well, I think money was a more important reason than avoiding a summer of attacks, as I wrote last week:
Both Bush and Kerry opted out of public financing of their primary campaigns, and could therefore spend unlimited money until they had their convention. So the later the convention, the less time the General Election public money had to cover. This is why the Kerry campaign was looking at ways of potentially delaying the official acceptance of the nomination, so they could continue to use their unlimited primary money.
But with the combination of tactical advantage, money, and causing the Republicans grief on their convention choice, it was a great preemptive move that Dean and the DNC made in November by their early announcement of the convention dates, and its good to see the traditional media starting to recognize this.


Anonymous said...

The 10 members of the DNC Technical Advisory Group are:

Tom McMahon, DNC Executive Director
Leah Daughtry, DNC Chief of Staff
Matt Nugen, Director of Chairman Dean's Office
Zoe Garmendia
Cameron Moody
Wally Podrazik
Diane Dewhirst
Elaine Howard
Ricky Kirshner
Joseph Sandler

Do you have any more info on these people and whether they may have ties to any of the cities bidding?

Matt said...

Wally Podrazik is a logistics guy. He's been involved with handling media logistics at every Democratic convention since at least 1980, and has been involved with site selection in the past. He's based in Chicago, and will focus on logistical issues, not political one.

I believe Diane Dewhirst has been involved with conventions in the past. A quick Google identifies her as a former press secretary to Senator George Mitchell.

I'll look into the other members of the group.

Anonymous said...

I think an interesting thing to note is that none of these members, at least according to my records, are members of the DNC. Out of over 440 DNC members, Chairman Dean did not pick one single member for the committee. I wonder if he has a reason for that. It sure would seem to me that it would pass the DNC easier if members from that group could get behind a choice.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the DNC actually votes on the Convention city as a body.

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of the DNC and technically, yes, we are supposed to vote on it. I may consider objecting at our April meeting if the Governor does not commit to giving us a vote.

Anonymous said...

i cant find anything in the bylaws that says that the full dnc votes on the city...has the full dnc voted on the site selection in the past?

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can find regarding the DNC and the selection is:
The Democratic National Committee plans the Party's quadrennial presidential nominating convention; promotes the election of Party candidates with both technical and financial support; and works with national, state, and local party organizations, elected officials, candidates, and constituencies to respond to the needs and views of the Democratic electorate and the nation."

From that description on, I would assume that the DNC would approve it because they are responsible for planning the convention.

I contacted one of my state's DNC members and he told me that none of the DNC members have been given notice that any of this is taking place. No information has been sent to any member regarding the 2008 convention.

I find this somewhat disheartening that Dean isn't listening to any party member and is doing whatever he feels like.

Matt said...

Nice to see someone from the DNC reading here! DIA 2004 convention site (link at left) has lots of information on the 2004 process. In 2004 there were 40 people on the Site Advisory committee - unclear how many were DNC members. From that site, it says the committee recommended Boston, and Chairman McAuliffe accepted the recommendation. No mention of a DNC vote.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting how the RNC does it. They have a committee of 9 people (which the DNC is now following suit.) I was just glancing at the RNC's Site Committee and all of them are members of the RNC.

What power do the members of the DNC really have? It seems like the RNC gives much more power to the members.

Anonymous said...

I think the dnc is looked at in 2 ways....

one is the 'body' which is the 400 plus people that are 'members' of the committee that meet 3 or 4 times a year

the other as the 'oraganizaton' or 'operation' which runs the day to day politics -- the staff in dc, the chairman, etc. so while it says that the 'dnc plans for the convention' they arent talking about getting those 400+ people together to plan the shindig, its the dnc as apparatus that plans it...

i know i was kinda rambling, but did that make sense?