Monday, June 26, 2006

Minneapolis/St. Paul visit update

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The 2008 Democratic National Convention Technical Advisory Group is now in Minneapolis/St. Paul. After visiting New York and Denver, the TAG is evalulating the Twin Cities bid to host the convention:

Six members of the Democratic National Committee are visiting the Twin Cities until Wednesday, determining whether Minnesota should host the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
From a boat tour down the Mississippi River, to a dinner, then to a Pearl Jam concert -- the cities are throwing everything they've got into this effort
Officials said the Twin Cities can't out-perk New York City, but the cities offer the Mississippi River, the new Guthrie Theater and your choice of places that'll hold the 20,000 people you'd bring here. "I'd like to see someone else do that, because they can't," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak challenged.

It's a whirlwind 72-hour pitch to six Democrats, included with dinners, parties, tours and the two Twin Cities mayors leading the sales pitch."I have plenty of time to sleep after they leave," Rybak said.On Monday, the group visited the Xcel Energy Center, the Metrodome, and took a light rail trip to the Target Center where they took in a mini-concert by the Twin City Gospel Choir.

The Democrats want to make sure there's enough security, public transportation, and hotel rooms. The mayors say the cities have it now, from Bloomington, to the downtowns, to Roseville. "When you look at going out that far, it's closer than quite frankly if you were three miles away in Manhattan," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said.

The Democrats say they won't decide until the end of the year, but already, there was lots of talk on Monday about a competitor from the west. "The mountains (of Denver) are a pretty picture, but the Mississippi River is a political strategy," Rybak said.

Here's the strategy: The presidential nominee will jump aboard a boat, sail down the Mississippi, and make stops along the way to end up in New Orleans.

Two thoughts: First, I believe that boat could also start in New Orleans after a convention there and end in Minneapolis! Also, Minneapolis can talk all they want about how suburban hotel rooms are "close", but to compare it to "3 miles away" from Manhattan is a bit absurd, given that New York can house all its attendees within 30 city blocks or so.

Here's more from Minnesota Public Radio:
DNC Executive Director Tom McMahon says Democrats will make their 2008 convention site decision sometime in November or December.

McMahon says Minnesota's rich Democratic history and its Midwestern battleground location will be taken into account as they make their decision. But more than anything, McMahon indicated, the choice will come down to what city can best handle hosting 20,000-plus people for a national political convention.

"What we're going to come here and look at is the security aspects, the transportation aspects, hotel accommodations and then the arena itself and then a lot of those other considerations. You know, when you look at those things, those really are a big determining factors in terms of a city's ability to host a convention," he said.


Anonymous said...

I think that the article was refering to the fact that the Twin Cities has many suburbs that are close. And when I say close, it will probably take less time for the delegates to get to the convention if they stayed in Roseville than if they stayed 30 city blocks away in NYC. It's important to remember the amount of traffic in the area. NYC has more traffic so 30 blocks could seem like more than 10 miles in the Twin Cities area.

Matt said...

You may be right about the time, but, the fact is, delegates want to be in the main city. Delegates staying in the Plaza Hotel on 57th St, 25+ blocks from the Garden will feel like they're in the main convention city. Delegates staying in Rosedale will feel like they've been sent out-of-town.

Anonymous said...

True, but if you have ever been to the Twin Cities, you can't even feel a difference from St. Paul- Minnapolis to Roseville. They blend together without any space between them. If there wasn't a sign saying that you were in a some suburb, you wouldn't even know.