The City of Brotherly Love finds itself on a roll these days. They will receive Pope Francis at the beginning of his first American visit as pontiff, and now Democrats will hold their national convention in Philadelphia, CNN reports:
Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, a source with knowledge of the selection process tells CNN.
While the Democratic National Committee would not confirm Philadelphia’s selection, the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the official announcement would be made Thursday.
New York and Columbus, Ohio, were the two other cities vying for the right to host the Democratic convention. The event is scheduled for the week of July 25, 2016.
Democrats’ decision to nominate the party’s presidential nominee in Philadelphia is a major win for former Gov. Ed Rendell, who had been spearheading efforts to convince Democrats to choose the city he once led. Rendell served as Philadelphia mayor from 1992 to 2000.
David Frum says the choice makes sense, in a way:
With RNC in Cleveland and DNC in Philadelphia, it’s not merely the presidential frontrunners who are throwbacks to a bygone era.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 12, 2015
Why Philadelphia rather than Columbus? Let’s assume that both cities have roughly equivalent access and capacity to conduct a presidential nominating convention. (Hey, if the Twin Cities can handle it …) One goal for site selection is to influence the state in which the convention takes place. That worked out well for Democrats in Colorado in 2008, and … not so well for Republicans in Minnesota in the same year. Pennsylvania is home turf for Democrats, though, while Ohio is very much disputed ground — and Republicans are playing to take it back in 2016.
This may be a nod to the problems in the Democratic coalition. They’re losing white, working-class voters, especially those with pro-life leanings, precisely the voters with whom Hillary Clinton connected in 2008 — as the alternative to Barack Obama, though. Salena Zito wrote about the problem on Saturday:
Just five years ago, 110 pro-life Democrats were in the House, around a dozen in the U.S. Senate. Today, fewer than five are in the House, and two in the Senate.
Just five years ago, coincidentally, Democrats held majorities in both chambers.
They lost those majorities because they lost touch with their districts.
Yes, gerrymandering played a part. Yet that is far from the whole story, a story no one talks about — or, if they do, they don’t address the problem. The fact is, Democrats are losing or excluding evangelicals, blue-collar types, Jacksonians and moderates, not only from feeling welcome in the party but from filling the Democrat bench to run for or to hold local offices.
That is happening not just in Ohio but all across the country.
So while the story is told, over and over, about how the extreme right wing of the Republican Party is pushing people out, you never once hear the word “extreme” associated with the left or progressive wings of the Democratic Party.
Where better to put on the Middle Class Circus to pretend that the Democrats still care about those voters than in Philadelphia? Well, Columbus, actually, but for some reason Democrats chose to avoid Ohio over safer ground in Pennsylvania. At least they didn’t choose Manhattan for that song-and-dance routine, even though New York City had made it to the final round. Make no mistake, though; this is a defensive choice, and it won’t be the last from the Democrats if Hillary Clinton ends up with the nomination.
Update: Are you ready for … Joe Biden?
Philadelphia will be the perfect venue for Democratic nominee Joe Biden to invoke his Scranton, PA roots
— Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg) February 12, 2015