When Democratic officials dropped by St. Louis last week to unofficially check out whether we can handle their next convention, we really showed 'em something. And I'm not
talking about Chuck Berry and Nelly (though our native sons did a fine job).
What I'm talking about are the meat and potatoes of any convention: hotels and basic transportation. On that score, compared to the other contenders -- Cleveland, Charlotte and Minneapolis -- we got it covered.
Not that politics are irrelevant. Politically, the City of St. Louis is overwhelmingly democratic (see
also: Board of Aldermen
and Mayor Slay
), which could make a difference
in how accommodating city officials might be. Also, President Obama
lost Missouri in the last election, and since then has visited often.
The convention might just put the Dems over the top.
But logistics are more important, because you've got tens of thousands of people pouring in for this. What kind of host would we be?
Well, between the Renaissance Grand, Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Millenium and Four Seasons, we can put up the pols AND the press. As for transportation, everything worth going attending will likely be in our compact little downtown, and there will probably be fleets of shuttles scooting around.
Yet should anybody want to escape the crowd and head to what I would consider St. Louis' two major showcase neighborhoods -- the Loop and the Central West End -- all they need do is hop on the Metro Link.
Local political consultant Mike Kelley
says that some of his former
friends were among the DNC officials to visit, and they told him that St.
Louis had the best presentation -- meat-and-pototoes-wise. Kelley thinks we need to puff our chests out a bit more.
"Our biggest problem is we have this inferiority complex," Kelley says. "We're stuck in 1904 World's Fair mentality and we're living in an iPhone world. But we do have what it takes to takes to compete in an iPhone world."
He summarizes: "We shouldn't
get [the DNC convention] because of our attitude. But we will
get it because we have the smart people and resources that are necessary."DISCLAIMER: The views expressed herein should be construed only as
argument for the sake of argument, and not as the personal opinions of
the authors. In fact, the authors' positions in "Tuesday Tussle" are
decided by coin toss.
For a more contrarian take, see our post here.