WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City came up short in its bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The Democratic National Committee said Thursday the convention will be held in Philadelphia the week of July 25, 2016.
“Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering,” DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “I cannot wait to join Democrats across the country to celebrate our shared values, lay out a Democratic vision for the future, and support our nominee.”
The site could serve as a passing of the baton from President Barack Obama to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the leading contender for the party’s nomination should she run for president, as is widely expected.
Brooklyn was among three finalists in the running to host the 2016 convention. In addition to Philadelphia, the other finalist was Columbus, Ohio.
Last month, Wasserman Schultz visited Barclays Center and sat down with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had called the meeting “very productive.” He said he felt good about the effort put forward by the city, but added “I know it’s highly competitive.” The final argument to Wasserman Schultz included a promise to raise over $100 million if Barclays was chosen.
“New York City represents the future of America,” de Blasio said in a statement Thursday. “We’re a city that’s working to lift up and unite every resident and ensure that all 8.4 million New Yorkers have the opportunity to succeed — not just the fortunate few. That core principal is what makes our city and our nation so great, and is why we fought so hard to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to the five boroughs.
“Brooklyn is America’s greatest urban success story, which would have made it a great backdrop to nominate the next President of the United States. I’d like to thank the thousands of New Yorkers who lent their time, energy and resources to support our effort,” de Blasio added.
Although de Blasio’s statement offered no congratulations to the City of Brotherly Love, he expressed his best wishes during an afternoon press conference.
“I definitely want to congratulate our friends in Philadelphia,” de Blasio said. “I spoke to (Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter]) a few hours ago. He is a good friend of longstanding, I’ve known him for many years. I’m very happy for him. I’m not happy with the outcome, I’m disappointed by definition, but I’m happy for him — he’s a great guy, it’s a great city.
“We know this was a tough decision — we knew from the beginning that this was going to be a highly competitive dynamic. That was something that was clear over and over again, not just with Philly but with Columbus,” he added. “We knew this would be a tough, tough fight and we gave it our all.”
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said instead of making a cutting-edge choice like Brooklyn, the DNC opted for a “safe site that hearkens more to its past.”
“You have to dream big to be big, and no one dreams bigger than Brooklyn,” Adams said. “Our pursuit of hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention was a valiant pursuit that made us stronger and more united as a borough.”
Sources told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer that one factor that could have hurt Brooklyn’s chances was the need to set up a large fenced-in security perimeter, which at Barclays Center would have caused disruptions for the businesses, apartment buildings and churches in the area.
But for a party already bogged down by an unpopular president, New York City just wasn’t the right fit, for many many reasons.
“Look, it’s really simple. Democrats decided New York, not now. Why? Corruption stories every day, problems with cops and what else? Too far to the left to win a national election right now,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.
A local DNC official seemed to blame de Blasio for the failed bid, telling the Daily News the mayor’s rocky relationship with the police unions made a long shot bid even longer, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Last month, de Blasio dismissed the feud as a possible stumbling block.
“They know from time to time there will be differences between labor and management. They are looking at the big picture — this is the finest police force in the country that can handle any and all events. That’s what matters to them,” de Blasio said on Jan. 30.
For Democrats, the choice came down to whether to set the stage for the next nominee in a big city or in another closely contested state. Obama was nominated in Denver in 2008 and in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2012, allowing his campaign to use the events to register new voters and recruit volunteers in states crucial to his political map.
Philadelphia has been the home to a variety of large events and played host to the Republican convention in 2000. The Vatican chose Philadelphia as the site for the World Meeting of Families, which Pope Francis will attend in September.
Clinton also has ties to Pennsylvania. Her father was born in Scranton, and she has allies in the state, such as former Gov. Ed Rendell, an ex-chairman of the DNC. Democrats have carried Pennsylvania in every presidential election since 1992.
The Democrats’ convention in Philadelphia will come the week after Republicans meet in Cleveland.
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