The Charlotte Observer has a Tale of the Tape, comparing Charlotte and St. Louis as potential host cities of the 2012 Democratic Convention. While we here at DCW do believe these two cities are the front runners, it certainly seems like they're tempting fate by plain ignoring the other two finalists, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
Some highlights(?) from their Tale of the Tape:
Landmark: St. Louis: Arch, Charlotte: Firebird
River: St. Louis: Mississippi. Charlotte: Catawba
Last Visit by a Prospective Saint: St. Louis: Pope John Paul II, 1999. Charlotte: Mother Teresa, 1995
Hotel Rooms: St. Louis: 38,748. Charlotte: 32,052
Last visit by a prospective saint? Is that a very subtle knock at Obama? Or is it pro-Obama? That's a point of comparison I would never had thought to make.
As far as Senator Claire McCaskill is concerned, no news is not good news:
The Missouri Democrat closest to the White House said on Tuesday she is not bullish about the city's chances of landing the party's 2012 convention.
It's not that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill -- a key ally of President Barack Obama -- has heard any inside info from Pennsylvania Avenue. The silence, McCaskill says, is what worries her.
"I wish I knew. I'm worried that I don't, to tell you the truth," McCaskill said. "Because I would think by now that somebody would have given me some kind of glimmer of what is going to happen." - StlToday.com
We didn't post this immediately as it was mostly a rehash, but it's driving the conversation today, so:
insiders in the selection process believe it has come down to a choice between St. Louis and Charlotte, N.C., with the other two finalist cities, Minneapolis and Cleveland, all but out of the running.
Now we've felt all along that it was going to come down to St. Louis and Charlotte, so this may just be a confirmation of the obvious. But there's been some interesting followup. First, from the St. Louis Beacon:
Gov. Jay Nixon said today that he called Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine on Thursday to make a last-minute pitch for St. Louis to be selected as the site for the 2012 Democratic national convention.
Only problem: he should have called David Plouffe or David Axelrod. It's their decision, not Kaine's.
And everyone's on edge. An earlier tweet today:
@TheSTLScoop: Two big NBC trucks on #STL riverfront... Democratic National Convention in 2012?
was dampened by the knowledge it was a planned MSNBC remote broadcast.
St. Louis Mayor Slay tweeted earlier this evening:
DNC2012 in St. Louis? We have a strong bid and the right people.
As Oreo wrote below, I don't think we'll get a winner announced until next year.
Not many Democrats rushed last week to support President Barack Obama's compromise tax package. But among the first was Anthony Foxx, the mayor of this gleaming city of the New South.
And little wonder. Charlotte is competing with three other finalists - Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis - to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012. Right on cue, the mayors of those three cities quickly followed suit, also signaling their support for the president.
At this stage, anything might tip the scales in one city's favor, so the four cities are eager to please.
And with that, the NY Times surveys the field bidding to host the convention. Their pluses and minuses for each city:
Pro: Inspire NC 2008 base to vote again in 2012 Con: If he wins NC, he's already won. No union hotels, and hot and humid
Pro: The battleground state Con: The rust belt?
Pro: Strong union presence, did it 4 years ago. Con: A punctured roof; and did it 4 years ago
Pro: Strong union presence, swing-stateiness Con: Not so swingy anymore
For a smaller city like St. Louis, showing the ability to raise money is a key part of a convention bid:
The local corporate community is prepared to step up in a big way to help land the 2012 Democratic National Convention, says the leader of one of the area's largest business groups.
Many of the city's most prominent companies have not yet been vocal about their support for the bid, but they are prepared to help raise the dollar amounts -- likely between $50 and $60 million -- needed to bring the Democrat's next presidential nominating convention to St. Louis, said Mike DeCola, head of Mississippi Lime Company and chairman of the Regional Business Council.
"The corporate community has to step up in a number of ways, certainly the fundraising is a big part of that," DeCola said. "We are keenly aware of the dollars we need to put up just to get the convention here."
How small is St. Louis? It's now the 52nd largest city in the US, with a population of just over 350,000. The competition: Charlotte, #18 (700K), Cleveland #43 (430K), Minneapolis #48 (385K). In 1870, St. Louis was the 4th largest city in the country, and in 1950, had over 850,000 inhabitants. (A number of other cities reached their peak population in 1950 (looking at the numbers every 10 years): Chicago, Philly, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, Boston. Only 2 cities in the 1950 Top 10, New York and LA, have grown larger since 1950).
But things look better for St. Louis when looking at the overall metropolitan areas: Minneapolis #16 (3.3M). St. Louis #18 (2.8M), Cleveland #26 (2.1M), Charlotte #33 (1.7M).
With the midterms in full swing, there's really been very little 2012 convention news the past month. But here are a few items which have crossed the DCW newswire recently:
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland says it "makes sense" to hold the 2012 Democratic Convention in Cleveland, given its importance in the 2012 presidential election.
Could Robert Gibbs, not Tim Kaine, make the final decision on who gets the convention?
The FBI searched the homes of Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly and Jess Sundin last week. Sundin and Kelly organized a march during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul two years ago, and have announced plans for another protest if Minneapolis hosts the 2012 Democratic Convention.
Brian Wahby, the Chairman of the St. Louis City Democratic Central Committee, gives his take on St. Louis' bid for the convention:
This is one of the keys to St. Louis' bid for the 2012 Democratic Convention:
To clearly demonstrate Labor’s determination to have the convention here, the effort has received the unanimous endorsement, and pledges of support, from every element of Organized Labor throughout the entire bi-state region.
St. Louis, considered as one of the most highly organized cities in America, has hosted five national party conventions, four for Democrats and one for Republicans. ... “The competition is very keen, but we have a lot to offer here and everyone is working together to showcase St. Louis as THE choice for the DNC,” said Brian Wahby, chairman of the St. Louis Democratic Central Committee. ... • Hugh McVey, president Missouri AFL-CIO: “Labor is 100 percent behind getting the convention here in 2012. • Michael T. Carrigan, president, Illinois AFL-CIO: “We would wholeheartedly welcome the Democrats to St. Louis for their 2012 Convention.
The Labor Tribune also notes that St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis have union convention centers, while Charlotte does not.