At the NYT, Kit Seelye goes over the pros and cons of picking Cleveland for the Democratic National Convention in 2012 (it's in the running with Charlotte, St. Louis and Minneapolis):
Ohio is a true battleground state, and, along with Florida, has been the big prize in the last few elections. Democrats cannot win without it. The fact that Democrats did so badly here in the midterm elections should be all the more reason for the party to plant the flag with its convention. And Ohio has more electoral votes, 20, than any other state vying for the convention.
Cleveland officials argue that the city would be the most affordable of the four choices, with lower hotel rates and less-expensive dining options.
Other venues in the city include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the renowned Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Can Cleveland raise expectations for conventioneers about visiting a Rust Belt city that does not exactly scream excitement? Can the city raise the necessary cash?
National Democratic officials were deeply disappointed this fall when Cleveland only half-filled a university arena for an Obama rally just two days before the midterm elections.
Several Cuyahoga County Democrats are under corruption investigations. And Cleveland’s main convention center is smaller than those in the other cities.