Democrats to hold DNC in Charlotte at what Michelle Obama calls "The People's Convention" -um, what's that make Tampa's RNC gig?

Buckhorn has made as part of his essential campaign message the fact that the wants to make Tampa feel like it did in the early 90's, when people used to talk about this town as riding the tide of becoming America's next "Great City." as he was toiling under former Mayor Sandy Freedman. Buckhorn talks about how officials from places like Charlotte would venture down to Tampa to learn about what this particular community was doing so well that it prompted emulators.

Now Buckhorn says, Tampa officials are traveling to Charlotte to learn about what that North Carolina town is doing right. "If we're going to compete with Charlotte and Atlanta and San Diego and Austin, Texas, we've got to be a city of hope and a city of possibilities," is a frequent comment he makes on the campaign stump.

Nationally on Twitter, some folks can't believe the Dems chose Charlotte.  No doubt that David Plouffe and the campaign strategists with Obama realized that North Carolina is a swing state that they (barely) won in 2008 and would obviously like to maintain in 2012.

What's interesting about that is that it's only become in recent years where part of the equation of a city desirability to host a national convention is that now it's sometimes chosen for its potential to be a swing state and possibly one that would go that political party's way in the fall election.

Don't think so? Well, think about where the Democrats have held their conventions in recent years, going back to 1976: New York, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Denver.  All of those cities are heavily Democratic in party registration numbers, but what states do they represent? All pretty solid Democratic ones, with the exception of Atlanta in 1988, and Denver last year.  I'm not sure the rational (other than wanting to be in the South) for Atlanta, but Colorado was clearly a battleground state in 2008, and one that ultimately did go Obama's way.

And speaking of Al Austin and their new GOP's new chairman, Reince Priebus, I wonder if there's time for a branding of the 2012 RNC, now that the Dems have taken the "people's convention" label?  Who knows? Then again, Priebus, in trying to pick up the pieces from Michael Steele's time at the party, may have his hands pretty full at this time (Priebus announced yesterday that the Republican National Committee was $23 million in debt).

The Democratic Party announced this morning that Charlotte would be the home of their four-day nominating convention in 2012, and the news came via First Lady Michelle Obama in an e-mail, where she said Barack and her want a "people's convention."

More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people. We will finance this convention differently than it's been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte. This will be a different convention, for a different time.

To help us make sure this is a grassroots convention — The People's Convention — we need to hear from you. We want to know what you'd like to see at next year's convention, how and where you plan on watching it — and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors.

Charlotte beat out three other cities who competed for the honor, Cleveland, St. Louis and Minneapolis.

The DNC will begin on September 3, 2012, which in my recollection is the latest the Democrats have ever had their quadrennial confab (the RNC from Tampa takes place the week before, but that's more typical of when the Republicans have traditionally held their big party).

Tampa of course, is busy taking care of business in preparations for their event, the first time its hosted a political convention of any sort (ditto for Charlotte).  Interesting at least on some level is the fact that the powers that be in this town fought for nearly a decade on bringing the Republican National Convention to Tampa, both for 2004 and 2008 before winning the bid for 2012 earlier this year.  That's despite the fact that the city - like most big American cities - is strongly Democratic in its party registration identification.

But the big money fund-raising folks in town, people like Al Austin, well, they do skew to the right.  I mean nobody on the other side of the aisle,  not even Ed Turanchik, apparently ever thought it was possible to bring the Democrats here.  In fact Turanchik set his eyes on something much bigger in scope that some called an impossible dream - hosting the Summer Olympics.   Pretty quixotic in all probability, right?  Well, Turanchik worked hard to get Tampa into an elite group of 8 American cities bidding for the 2012 Olympiad back in the early part of the last decade.  But a DNC was apparently a bridge too far for the visionary mayoral candidate.

And how about one of Turanchik's opponents in next month's race, former City Councilman Bob Buckhorn?

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