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?