Philadelphia is one of six cities bidding to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the DNC has announced when it will do site visits. Democratic officials will visit the city on August 13-14.
That’s soon! Though we only need to clean up the parts of the city politicians will see, that’s still a lot of work: Do you think we can just sweep all of the Arctic Splash containers and cheesesteak wrappers strewn about Philadelphia under a rug and no one will notice?
The site visit comes directly after Brooklyn's, which is good: All we have to do is out-do their proposal, which I assume will include an artisan popcorn tasting, a game of knockout with the Brooklyn Nets and an ironic handlebar mustache demonstration. The other cities in vying for the 2016 DNC are Cleveland, Columbus, Birmingham and Phoenix. Cleveland and Columbus — in the massive swing state of Ohio — are by most reports the frontrunners. (The upside: If I were the DNC and wanted to win a swing state, I'd be wary of over-saturating the area with obnoxious politicians.) If Phoenix gets the convention it will be almost as bad as the 2008 NFC Championship Game. I have no contingency plan on how to react if Birmingham somehow wins this.
Philadelphia hasn't hosted a convention since the 2000 Republican National Convention, where protesters were arrested for making puppets. I guess this is how Occupy Philly stuck it out in The Place Then Called Dilworth Plaza (the soon-to-be Dilworth Park): They didn't make any puppets, just signs.
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady is pushing for a Philadelphia convention, and said these harsh words about Columbus to the Daily News: "I don't know what the hell is in Columbus. I hope they are the competition. We'll blow them away." That should be the city's slogan: "I don't know what the hell is in Columbus."
Though it ties up traffic and inconveniences a lot of regular residents, a political convention makes your city a showcase for the powerful politicians of one party. This can backfire, as it did in 1964 in Atlantic City, but the 2000 Republican National Convention seemed to go well enough (besides the protester arrests). We even got new, informative signs on SEPTA! Philadelphia media members who live in Center City — like, say, yours truly — or its outskirts doubtlessly support the 2016 DNC here in Philadelphia, as our media member friends can crash on our couches. And just imagine how exciting reading the posts on online dating services and Craigslist casual encounters will be that week! If you're not into that kind of humor (or don't have a couch for friends to sleep on), the 2000 RNC also featured a sad John McCain eating a cheesesteak at 10:30 in the morning.
So try not to litter in Center City (and along the Parkway, I'm sure) the next few weeks, okay? This town could always use more sad politicians eating Pat's and Geno's.