It’s make or break day for Philly.
Today, site selectors for the 2016 Democratic National Convention hit town to take the full measure of Philadelphia and to see how we stack up against other finalists to host the convention. The early betting suggests that Philly has an advantage in this race, but we’ve still got to put our best foot forward.
If the New York papers are right — possibly a big if — Philly’s closest competition for the honor is Brooklyn. Which means that this is now another New York-Philly confrontation that risks exacerbating our city’s occasional Little Brother Complex. But it shouldn’t.
Here are five reasons that Philly is better — or at least as good — as Brooklyn:
We’ve got history. It’s going to be emphasized a lot today, and it should: We’re where America was born! The Constitution was signed! Democracy started! Democrats always have a little bit of trouble convincing Middle America that they’re Real Americans: It would be a lot easier to do so with this guy in some of the television shots, wouldn’t it?
We’re cheaper. That’s why the New Yorkers are moving here. Why be a step behind them?
The New York Times can’t really tell us apart. A theory: You know how the Times likes to write about Fishtown hipsters every few months or so? I think it’s because they can only write about Brooklyn hipsters so much before exceeding the bounds of self-parody — which is still a lot — and coming to Fishtown is the way the can do that without looking like they’re doing that. Which means Brooklyn’s distinctiveness is an advantage for Philly in this competition, as well.
We’ll be a little more grateful for the opportunity. Brooklyn’s going to be divided between the too-cool-to-care hipsters and the hosting-the-convention-is-our-birthright arrogance of New Yorkers. Philly? We’re always a little self-conscious in the spotlight — we’ll work harder to make sure people will leave with a good impression because we won’t assume they will.
It’s our turn, dammit. It’s been forever since Philly hosted a Democratic convention — and we’re a reliably Democratic city. Pennsylvania’s electoral votes went to President Obama because we voted for him. Period. So maybe the DNC shouldn’t take us for granted, eh?
Yeah, there are cheesesteaks, and pretzels, and the Rocky steps, and the DNC site selectors will see all of those today. Mostly, though, we should get the convention because we’d be swell hosts. We want to throw this party! Let’s hope we get the chance.
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