Mile-high hopes are dimming that Denver will secure the 2008 Democratic convention.That's only, what, a hundred bucks apiece from everybody in Denver? C'mon, gang! We can do it! Unfortunately:
Democrats posted against-the-odds victories in several statewide elections last month in the West, making Denver an attractive choice for a party looking to expand on recent gains in the Republican-leaning region. But even once-optimistic Colorado boosters are lowering their odds to 50-50 that Denver will beat out New York City for the convention.
Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar said this week that in private conversations Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean had expressed legitimate concerns about whether Denver can raise the necessary $55 million and put on a seamless convention.
It's not money alone that raises questions about Denver's ability to put on the convention. Salazar said Dean also questioned him about whether Denver can handle the 35,000 convention-goers.Another outstanding issue: who pays for bum clearance?
Hotel rooms? We've got plenty. Security? No problem. Union support? Uhhhhh . . .
Denver needs to prove it has about 19,000 hotel rooms, union support and adequate security - hurdles that many believe New York can more easily clear.
But still there's hope!
Earlier but equally scintillating convention post here.
Salazar, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper [Hick!] and Colorado Gov.-elect Bill Ritter talked again with Dean on Friday. Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz said the three "came away feeling hopeful" that they can alleviate Dean's concerns about Denver.
The West has a political story Democrats are eager to tell - something solidly Democratic New York can't supply . . . .
Many Democrats argue that if the party pays more attention to the West, the region will help elect a Democratic president.
"We always have felt that the pathway to the presidency is through the West," Wedgeworth said. "We think it's our turn and our time."
Update: And a slightly more upbeat AP story on this septic ol' crotchtown's chances of snagging the convention here.
Update II: Fans of the Old West should check out the wiki on legendary conman "Soapy" Smith, who's mentioned in the Bat Masterson page linked above.
Update III: I propose we make an offer to the DNC to change Denver's name to "Demver" (© me, 2006), with the Drunkablog collecting a small but large royalty on every product bearing that name, including but not limited to every sign, poster, gew-gaw, drink (The "Demver"), omlette (the "Demver Omlette"), nasty bottle of mustard or even nastier serving of Rocky Mountain Oysters sold in Denver County between now and the end of time.
Update IV: Ever hear the joke about the guy who ordered Rocky Mountain Oysters on the half-shell? Now you have.
Update V: Union support? Uh . . .