Thursday, September 28, 2006

Democrats were close to deciding?!?! - updated

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

They always put the good stuff at the bottom of the article:

By Wednesday, the race had come down to the wire. National Democrats were to meet on Friday in New York to make their pick. National Republicans had already closed in on the Twin Cities.

Around noon, Sen. Coleman put in an urgent call to Rybak. Smith pulled Rybak out of an open house meeting with constituents to give him the news: The RNC had chosen Minneapolis/St. Paul.

At 1:15 p.m. Ryak called Dean. "He told me to please hold off," Rybak said. "I told him I could wait maybe an hour, but I reminded him we had promised it to whoever came in first."

By 2 p.m., Dean called back. "He said, 'We're not ready to make a decision,' " Rybak said.

More from the AP:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a Democrat, were still trading phone calls at lunchtime Wednesday, just before news broke that the Republicans picked the Twin Cities for their 2008 convention.

The official word came around 3 p.m. local time, prompting a bipartisan crowd at Xcel Energy Center to erupt into cheers. The GOP was coming; the Democrats would have to look elsewhere.

"We were in very aggressive conversations with them up to and including about three hours ago," Rybak said of the Democrats at a news conference.

He added: "I spoke with Governor Dean twice today. They were planning to make a decision I believe very, very shortly. The Republicans moved first."

I take three things from this. First, the Democrats may have wanted to pick St. Paul as their site for the 2008 convention, but they couldn't make a decision in 45 minutes, and, even if they did, the GOP did announce first.

Second, were the Democrats going to meet on Friday and pick St. Paul? Seems pretty clear the decision leaked, and the GOP then decided to announce first and get first dibs on St. Paul. If so, the GOP won this battle.

And finally, are the Democrats still meeting on Friday to make a decision? Probably not, as there is no time pressure now.


Anonymous said...

I'm grateful for the GOP decision because I have always been a fan of holding our convention in Denver.

Anonymous said...

This is typical dirty politics by the Republicans. They knew the Democrats were going with St. Paul, and that's the only reason they went and made this spur of the moment announcement. Just to spite the Democrats. It's really sad when a major political party acts like a bunch of children. Shame on the GOP.

Matt said...

As a life long Democrat, I think the GOP did nothing wrong here. It was very clear from the start that which ever party announced first would get the city (for either St. Paul or New York). The Democrats did their site visits first - if they really wanted St. Paul, they could have announced it weeks ago. The GOP moved their decision up in order to gain an advantage in 2008 by taking what they believed was the best convention site. I think it was a smart move by them, not a dirty move.

Anonymous said...

Putting aside your belief that the Democrats already have the better date (let's assume for argument's sake that it isn't), would you say it would be smart politics or dirty politics if the Democrats were to dispatch with the tradition of allowing the incumbent party to go last by moving their date after the GOP's?

Matt said...

I wouldn't call it dirty politics - but the Dems wouldn't look very smart if they changed at this point. The GOP announced their date months ago, and nothing happened yesterday that changed the view on which week is best.

But given all that, I think the tradition serves a useful purpose in preventing the parties from playing silly leapfrog with the dates. But here's a scenario where it would be smart to break it: The party in the White House picks their convention for the week after the Summer Olympics, say 3rd or 4th week of August. That's a bad decision. The other party won't want to go 3-4 weeks earlier, so they will pick the week after the White House party's convention. And there goes the tradition.

Matt said...

Keith- I just saw some information which might bring around to your opinion. Watch for a post soon...