WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
I've been waiting to use that title for a while. Here are some thoughts, opinions and quotes from some news articles on the site selection process for the 2008 Democratic National Convention: Also that New York is the safe bet, a tried-and-true convention city that can handle the logistical details at least as well, if not better, than it did for the Republicans in 2004. And, this being a Democratic town, empty some of the deepest Democratic pockets to pay for a spectacular event.
There's some good analysis here. I'm not sure the size of MSG will make a big differerence versus the other arenas, although if the Democrats want to be in a dome, both New York and Denver could lose out. I didn't focus on the money issue here - I will soon - but it's going to be a big part of the equation, and New York will usually win any money competition.
“Nothing could more eloquently speak to America’s resolve not to be defeated,” Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff told The Observer in July 2002, “than to see democracy celebrated in this city.” Expect that tone in one of New York’s competitors’ bids: New Orleans, still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, is another finalist for the convention nod.
The final decision will be up to Howard Dean, the Democratic chairman, a New York native—but also one who has been pushing a 50-state policy, intent on winning support anywhere and everywhere, even in traditional red states. In pursuing the policy, though, he has been butting heads with Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Congressman and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who favors investing money in races the party already has a chance of winning.
“Rahm Emanuel might favor New York, thinking it’s a place where you may be able to pick up a few upstate seats, versus Howard Dean, who would say, ‘Why not go to Denver and eventually turn it into fertile ground for Democrats?’” said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. “It never works. Frankly, I see no advantage in where the convention is held in terms of how many votes it pulls in. There may be some symbolic significance in having it in one place or another. But frankly, I think everybody wants to come to New York and will look for an excuse.”
In other words, New York is no longer the sentimental choice; that would be New Orleans. But right now the local committee is working on answering additional questions raised by its first bid, submitted in May, according to Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. No visit has been scheduled.
The Minneapolis visit, scheduled for June 26, will take D.N.C. members through a onetime capital of the Democratic heartland that has been exhibiting Republican tendencies lately. The site selection committee will also visit Denver, where Democrats run both state houses and recently recaptured a Senate seat.
Denver is the supposed front-runner, with a seven-year-old arena and a brand-new convention-center hotel. Sources said Denver also fit in with Dr. Dean’s “50-state” strategy, in which the Democrats attempt ambitious wins in previously hostile territory.
Denver is the supposed front-runner, with a seven-year-old arena and a brand-new convention-center hotel. Sources said Denver also fit in with Dr. Dean’s “50-state” strategy, in which the Democrats attempt ambitious wins in previously hostile territory. Another source said that the size of the Denver and Minneapolis arenas would allow Dr. Dean to hold a convention that accommodated the largest possible number of people.
Neither theory of the D.N.C.’s motives would seem to put New York—or its small, somewhat haggard convention site at Madison Square Garden—in a particularly good light by comparison. The Minneapolis Metrodome, for instance, could hold some 10,000 more people when configured as a convention site.
But whether Denver or Minneapolis could deliver the hotel accommodations needed might be another question. Denver’s bid has already been cursed by labor leaders angry because the city’s hotels have been unfriendly to unions. That could turn the party’s most important constituency against it. In New York, by contrast, the Central Labor Council favors a convention in 2008 and has already begun discussions for a no-strike agreement, according to Carolyn Daly, a spokeswoman.
Mr. Sheekey downplayed the Garden’s lower capacity, saying that the main point was to give ready access to media outlets and thereby a national television audience—that is, assuming people actually watch party conventions these days.
Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker said and Democrats [would benefit] by selecting New Orleans. Democratic Party leaders have tried to make the Katrina catastrophe a metaphor for Republican incompetence and cronyism.
"To have it in the Superdome, where all those people were abandoned, would be a great symbolic gesture for Democrats," Baker said.
Also that New York is the safe bet, a tried-and-true convention city that can handle the logistical details at least as well, if not better, than it did for the Republicans in 2004. And, this being a Democratic town, empty some of the deepest Democratic pockets to pay for a spectacular event.