Philadelphia is one of five cities making a push to land the 2016 Democratic Nationall Convention, and an Associated Press story that moved over the weekend points out that Philly's history of hosting political conventions -- and its history in general -- could be the point that gives it an advantage over its rivals.
Birmingham, Ala.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix also have been courting the Democrats, but they don't have former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell, Philly Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady standing in a Center City beer garden. The other contenders also don't have Philadelphia's experience hosting political conventions; it's hosted seven of them -- most recently the Republican convention in 2000 -- while the other cities are all hoping to host its first.
Which town has the best shot? Each has points for or against:
Birmingham: Would give the Democrats a stage in a state that hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter's run in 1976. But that doesn't change the fact that the potential for a bump in one of the reddest of red states isn't especially likely. Sure, holding the convention in a small city like Birmingham would mean the Dems were the only game in town -- but that doen't matter if no one in town is watching.
Brooklyn: Good: It's New York City, the media capital of the entire planet. And it's the adopted home state of Hillary Clinton; nominating her there would make for an energizing start to the campaign. But Brooklyn and NYC might be too big for the convention, in that it wouldn't be the lone thing going on in the city's spotlight. And would the party be ready to embrace the home city of controversial New York Mayor Bill de Blasio?
Columbus: Ohio is THE swing state, and the Republicans have already staked a claim there, announcing early this summer that Cleveland would host the GOP convention in 2016. It could be that the Democrats feel it's necessary to maintain a strong presence there to continue the momentum they gained with presidental wins in 2008 and 2012. The question? Is there enough room in Ohio -- or, more importantly, is there enough money -- to pull off conventions for both parties?
Phoenix: The Latino population of Arizona could turn this historically Republican state into a swing state in 2016, and the Democrats would definitely want take advantage of that. And if immigration is still an issue on the national stage, there would be few better places in the country than Phoenix to highlight the differences between the parties. The other side of the immigration coin? The state's own tough immigration laws could make for some discomfort on the part of Democrats.
And that leaves us with Philadelphia. Like Brooklyn, it's a huge media market. Unlike Brooklyn, all of those eyeballs live in a swing state. The Democrats would love a bump from a Philly convention, especially if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the GOP nominee and -- as a bonus -- if a bump would help Democrat unseat U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican who will be running for re-election that year as well.