By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter and other top local Democrats are gearing up for next week’s visit of the committee that will choose a site for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“We will be welcoming site selection committee members to Philadelphia next week,” Nutter said.
Mayor Nutter and other Democrats gathered across from the Liberty Bell to drum up attention to next week’s visit. Philadelphia is one of five cities vying to host the 2016 DNC, and nearly 20 members of the site committee will be here next Wednesday and Thursday. Joining Nutter was former Governor Ed Rendell.
“We’re going to do everything we can to win this bid. We’ll know probably by the end of the year,” Rendell said.
Congressman Bob Brady, head of the city Democratic Committee, said the success of the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia will help convince the DNC to come here.
“We took the Republicans, we showed them a great time. And now we’re back here in ’16 and its the Democratic time, the Democratic turn!” Brady said.
Montgomery County Commission Chair Josh Shapiro said luring and hosting the Democrats would be a regional effort.
“This region is prepared to receive all the delegates, to receive all the guests, and to do great things all across the region,” Shapiro said.
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Next week’s visit by the site committee, according to Nutter, would be both fun and work.
“Obviously we’re going to show them a really, really good time. But they also want to know about logistics, they want to know about buses, they want to know about how to get to the venue,” he said.
And of course, Nutter says, they’ll get to sample a Philadelphia favorite.
“They’re going to have some cheesesteaks, the breakfast, lunch or dinner of champions across the United States,” he said.
Which prompted a question to Nutter: Pat’s or Geno’s?
“We’re going to leave that up to the delegates!” he said.
If the city is chosen, Rendell believes organizers could raises the tens of millions needed to put on a political convention.
“Probably about $70 million. But a good hunk of that, for security, would come from the federal government. So I am confident that we will raise the necessary money,” Rendell said.
The site committee will be in New York City on Monday and Tuesday of next week before coming to Philadelphia. The Big Apple is pitching Brooklyn as the venue for the 2016 Democratic Convention. But Rendell said the DNC would do itself a big favor by choosing Philadelphia.
“There is no electoral math that will elect a Democratic president without carrying Pennsylvania,” he said.
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