Fast Eddie Rendell is heading the committee to raise $50 million to bring the 2016 DNC Convention to Philadelphia. He's being joined by Bob Brady who ostensibly said:
“I don’t know what the hell is in Columbus,” U.S. Rep. Bob Brady told the Daily News. “I hope they are the competition. We’ll blow them away.” (Source)
Philadelphia is thought of as being second to Columbus because Ohio is, well, Ohio. Conventions like to be in swing states, but there are additional considerations. As Oreo reported, the Federal hit will be $18 million. Can Columbus raise that? We know Philly can: it raised $66 million for the 2000 GOP Convention, with $39 million coming from the City itself. Plus, Philly will provide a dry run for a large function in 2015, when the Pope comes here for an International Conference on Families. Proven security.
Not to mention the logistics of a convention. There's a lot of walking at a convention. Venues are spread. While there are a lot of daily happenings at the Convention Center itself, there are a ton of other activities "around and about". Philadelphia is a walking city, with tons of great restaurants, meeting halls, and things to do for the spouses, significant others and families of delegates, plus all the visitors. We even have the hotel rooms, mass transit to move people around, even a direct train route down to the stadiums where the nomination would surely be held.
Charlotte set a great standard in 2012 with a huge cadre of people who didn't attend the convention events itself, but filled the streets as guides and other types of volunteers. Look at the posted photograph and imagine it filled with happy Democrats. (We'll get back to that photo.) Outside speeches on various topics.
And let's not forget the Jersey factor. Media reach of Philadelphia is well into Jersey. Just another slap in the face to Fat Boy Slim and his cronies, who will hopefully be in jail by then, or at least out of office.
Finally, while I have every intention of winning Pennsylvania in 2016 (AGAIN) it's not a given. If you harken back to 2008, my battle cry was "To win Pennsylvania, McCain has to win the 5 counties. To do that, he's got to win Chester County. To do that, he's got to carry Tredyffrin, and for that, he needs W-5, and the little blonde girl says to do THAT, he's got to get past me, and I say no. NO! Hell no." I didn't foresee Tom Corbett and 2010 in the vibrancy and joy of 2008. Never saw the teabaggers coming. Thought we were finished with that sort of racism. But when we hold the Senate this year, and the obstructionism continues, Pennsylvania will be in play. How historic it will be if it's Philadelphia that nominates the first woman Presidential candidate of a major party.
Now back to that picture. I took it from the second floor balcony of the Constitution Center. Be with me in that photo. You're looking south across the mall to Independence Hall. Think of the men and women guilty of treason against the crown so today, we can breathe free. During all of the First Continental Congress, and parts of the Second Continental Congress and development of the Articles of Confederation and the writing of the Constitution, Philadelphia was the country's capitol. Imagine walking over 200 years ago across that mall, turning left near the Hall, and into the cobblestone streets once walked by Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Madison, et. al. On to Elfreth's Alley, the oldest, continually occupied residential street in America.
Columbus? Really? Don't get me wrong, I've spent time there, and it's a pleasant place. I like the annual state fair Ohio throws there. There are a good number of hotel rooms, however, they're spread around. The trains? Nope, only buses, and we know how well they do in mass traffic. The food? Think bbq and fried cookies, not world class fare. The people? Nice. Friendly. But lacking that Philly attitude.
What do you think? Floor is open.