Thursday, September 14, 2006

Denver still in the race

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Denver 2008 Host Committee executive director claims things are not as bad as they've been made out to be. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Debbie Willhite, the Denver 2008 Host Committee executive director, said the city’s proposal was characterized as "extremely thorough" by a member of the site selection committee just this week. Still, Willhite said, the report Wednesday in the Hotline On Call, a blog of the National Journal, casts Denver in an unfavorable light.

"It does not reflect well on our bid, and it does not reflect well on our city," she said. "But I would say also, unequivocally, it does not reflect the DNC’s current thinking about where Denver stands in this process. I was reassured of that profusely by the executive director of the Democratic National Committee," Willhite said.

The report, published Thursday in the National Journal, stated that New York City and Minneapolis-St. Paul are "right outside the winner’s circle." It also stated that an unidentified Democrat briefed about Denver’s offerings called them a disaster and that the city’s lack of a union hotel "remains an obstacle" even though organized labor in Denver suspended its opposition to the bid.

A DNC spokesman declined to comment about the blog posting.

Marc Ambinder, the blog reporter, said he stood by his story. "To be honest, there were some initially who were dismayed by the quality of the bid," he said. "The technical aspects were not up to the expectations that they had for (Denver), and that disappointed them."

Ambinder said Denver’s subsequent submissions under Willhite "have gotten progressively better" and that many of the technical concerns have been answered. "The question (now) is whether the DNC will be willing to give Denver a shot to sort of prove their bona fides and really go into the nitty gritty of these bids," said Ambinder, who has covered national politics for five years.

"I think by the end of this month we will know whether they’ve narrowed it down to (New York and Minneapolis-St. Paul) or whether they’re still keeping Denver in mind," he said.

Willhite, a national convention organizer for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, is confident Denver will be the winner. She called the report in the blog "unfortunate." "We’d love them to retract it, but the fact of the matter is that someone at the DNC with some sort of title gave the reporter this luscious little quote," Willhite said. "Obviously, it was somebody who doesn’t want to come to Denver."

I think the Hotline is paritally to blame for this. Their original posting said:
Others confirmed that the general impression among site selection members of Denver was not positive.
But the revised posting, which is only readable from the main blog, says:
Others confirmed that the general impression among site selection members of Denver was not positive, although a third iteration of Denver's bid, submitted last week, has been better received.
That's a huge difference, because the bid should hopefully be judged on its latest version. I'm not sure why the Hotline has not updated the posting at the original link, but neither the article at Daily Kos nor the column in the Denver Post referenced the updated entry, and therefore they made things sound worse then they might be. And since the source of the comment is unknown, one can not assume it is unbiased. For now, I will assume Willhite's characterization of the DNC Executive Director's comments are true, and that Denver is still in this thing.


Anonymous said...

Go Denver 2008!

Anonymous said...

I really hope Denver gets the convention. We need to get out of standard blue territory and into the heart of the west. Colorado's an anchor in elections; we take the Rocky Mountains, we've got a 100 times better shot at taking the neighbors. Denver is what it takes!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little bit baffled by all the talk of holding the convention in a city such as Denver because of the importance of Colorado in a national election. If anything, it seems to me that we'd need to control the damage to our chances in Colorado if we held the convention there. Security measures make the area around the convention hall and convention hotels inaccessible to anyone without credentials. In 2004, I remeber being glad that Massachusettes was a solid blue state so we didn't have to be concerned with a voter backlash for the inconvenience we were imposing on Boston's residents. The primary purpose of choosing a convention city is to provide the right tv infomercial backdrop. The Bush-Cheney team understood this in 2000 and 2004, choosing Philly and NYC despite the fact that the GOP would not carry PA or NY in the general election. Having said that, I would prefer travelling to Denver in '08 if for no other reasons than the weather and the short plane ride from my home state of Nevada. However, as a practical matter, I cannot justify arguing with NYC's recent success (Dems '92 and GOP '04) as a convention host city.

Anonymous said...

I differ; I'm with Kos on this one: we need to get off the east coast, and get to where the action is: the American west. Denver's going to help the people of the heart of the western US identify with us, our values and our politics. We need to make a true appeal to the voters, and honestly tell them what we want to do. Going to MN or NY is saying, "We're the same party you didn't vote for in 2000 or 2004." Going to Denver says: "We're your party, and we're listening to you."

I'm behind Denver all the way.

Anonymous said...

I'm with posters 1,2, and 4 (sorry #3, but I just don't think we should worry about "tv informercial backdrops".

I love the idea of Denver, but wouldn't be bummed in the slightest if Minneapolis won either.

Far as NYC, what a kick it would be! BUT - - - we went the super safe, super blue route last time.


I say: Go WEST young man! (and women, and children, and EVERY single person in the Democratic Party!)

Matt, thank you for these updates!


Anonymous said...

for you superstitious types i think its worth noting that the last 2 conventions that NYC hosted produced the eventual winners of the election (BUSH 04 and CLINTON 92)

Anonymous said...

Denver's got what the Democratic Party of the future needs: ground to paint blue. I want us to win in 2008, and therefor: I'm going for Denver.

NYC produced winners back in the old days: NOT 2008. To win, we've got to think like the future, fight like the future, and campaign for the people who are the future of our party. And, making it happen takes the west.

I couldn't have said that any better unless I was Libby.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Denver is just the best choice for what we're trying to do in 2008. Matt, this blog rocks.

Anonymous said...

I'm still wondering if Denver is the best place for us to be in '08. While conventions don't win an election, they can help out a lot (may be better to have it in MN since we have been losing Democratic support in the last few yrs).

Anonymous said...

While I agree that Minnesota has had some swinging since '04 that conservatives have been behind, I don't think that any of it is enough to keep the upper midwest from going blue in 2008 (convention or not).

However, I do take note that the political climate in the west is ripe for a slide to the blue. Like Colorado for instance, where their in the middle of a gubernatorial election that's drawing attention on the federal level. The Democratic nominee, Bill Ritter, is knocking the GOPer out by 17 points in a 9/18 poll by the Rocky Mountain News. And this is a state not won over by the DNC since '92!

And Cheney's home state of Wyoming is another example. Who would think that a Dem is currently in charge of a state that the DNC hasn't won since, who knows when! Same instances in Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma and even Kansas! The west is where it's at.

And here's why... Westerners are ready to go blue. But they need to know that they're being recognized as real people and not just votes in the eyes of the DNC. Going to an east coast city, or a true-blue midwester is going against our pleas for votes in the west. To win over the heartlanders, we have to bring our show to their capitol. And without a doubt, Denver is serving as so in this bid.

To win 2008, but further more, to win over America, we need to get back to basics; being "The people's party," instead of just calling ourselves that! Denver is where we have the best podium to make our stand known to the vast American west. A city founded in the tradition of America and in the spirit of the cowboy is what it takes. And that's why I am supporting Denver 2008.

Anonymous said...

Here we go Denver! Here we go!

Come on.. just like the Broncos game...

Anonymous said...

Yeehaw! Go Denver!

Anonymous said...

No doubt about it: Denver's got this one all the way.

DenverDan said...

I think you've confused local politics with national. Just because someone is willing to vote for one party candidate on a local level, doesn't mean they are going to vote in a presidential election for that party.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. This Coloradan wants a Dem in the White House in 2008. Go Denver!

Anonymous said...

can I add that this is the lamest string of fake blog comments in history. I mean really.