By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Official Philly is pulling out all the stops. It wants the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and it wants it badly.
“I think we’re gonna get it,” said Congressman Bob Brady. “We’ve got the tradition. We’ve got the history and we’re gonna make history again.”
Wednesday and Thursday, Philadelphia will become the center of the Democratic Party universe. The delegation will be arriving Wednesday morning, bussing in from New York, where the Brooklyn Borough made its play. The other three cities are Birmingham, Alabama; Columbus, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona.
Brady says Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will be on the bus for the ride from New York and the preliminary pitch.
Brady, though, is leading the charge. “The best part of the pitch is the city itself,” said Brady.
Philadelphia has the historic tradition but also “the good stuff” as Brady describes it.
“We’ve got the Rocky statue, we’ve got the cheese steaks, we’ve got the pretzels and we’ve got the convention center. We’ll be proud of the city. We’ll show it off.”
Wednesday’s tour begins with check in at the Radisson Blu Hotel near Rittenhouse Square, then, lunch at Pat’s Steaks in South Philadelphia, a tour of the Reading Terminal Market and a candlelight tour of Independence Hall.
Thursday, it’s more nitty-gritty DNC business with a rally at the National Constitution Center mid-afternoon, and a goodbye from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
With five cities up for consideration, Brady says Philadelphia is already listed as the front runner
“I’m praying that we’ll get this thing,” said Brady. “We tried to get it three years ago, but now the Mayor says he’s ready to go. I asked Ed Rendell (Former PA Governor and Philadelphia Mayor) to be the cheerleader and he’s the best cheerleader we have and he agreed.”
Cheerleading is going to count because bringing the Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia isn’t cheap. Brady thinks the costs could range between 65 and 70 million dollars. He’s expecting local business leaders and the Chamber of Commerce to be fully on board financially.
Brady thinks one financial advantage is that local security costs will be less because since 9/11, the congressional delegates have to be protected by U.S. Capitol Police and federal agents.
Brady says there’s no tough sell about Philadelphia. He says it sells itself with its history and cultural icons.
“This is where they signed the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, come on,” said Brady in his best South Philly draw.
“The birthplace of America started right here. So, we’re going to make history all over again.”
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