The Democrats are NOT coming.
I am both pleased and disappointed by it.
As reported in The Washington Post today, New Orleans has dropped its bid to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Not that we couldn’t, or didn’t have the resources. We simply choose not to.
The reason given is money. It takes a lot of money and effort and resources to host a major party political convention. You know, it’s not like they pay a lot of rent and fees to put on their media circus—they expect the host city to shoulder a lot of that expense and effort.
The payoff, of course, is that you get lots of press for your town and tax revenue from all those hotel rooms, restaurants and taxi cabs the conventioneers spend money on.
But apparently it isn’t enough. We’ve hosted a lot of these things in the past—Superbowls, Final Fours, and yes, major political party conventions. So you have to figure the city’s leaders are making an informed decision.
From my own perspective, I’m disappointed because I think it would have been a nice boost for our tourism industry. Hosting a big spectacle would have a lot of corrollary benefits. For example, it would encourage other conventions to say, “Wow, if New Orleans can host them, they can surely handle our convention, too.”
And tourism is a big part of the economy here. Although in the current calendar year it will likely be second to construction and mold remediation, tourism is number one in money and jobs.
The good side of this is we don’t have to deal with the politics. We won’t have to smile and welcome a bunch of big-shot politicos who pretend to be concerned for us and who would certainly make a lot of grandstand promises. We won’t be used as the humanitarian backdrop to the scripted pitch for power.
The Katrina catastrophe has been politisized enough already, thank you very much. The past, present and future travails of Louisiana and this great city have been used and abused for the cheap political gain of just about everybody in Washington, by people elected, appointed, media and lobbyists alike.
This time, we’re going to put our effort into building and growing for our own people right here at home. This time, we’ll catch the highlights and fake drama on the evening news like my friends in Bunkie.
This time, we pass.
Source: "New Orleans Drops Bid for 2008 Convention"