Go West, Young Democrat


The Democratic Party (last seen feebly protesting the troop surge into Iraq) has chosen Denver as the site of its 2008 convention. It's the first time the city's ever hosted such an event since 1908, and it beat New York—the successful nominating home of Bill Clinton in 1992—for the job. (It'll probably be held more than a month after the LP convention in Denver.)

Denver's bid was shot through with holes from the start. The first technical submission was greeted with dismay by party regulars; revised bids were better. Labor unions threatened to balk unless Denver began to unionize its hotels; others wanted to extract compromises from the DNC and the state about union participation. The DNC worried about whether Denver could raise the $50 million necessary to stage the marquee event for the '08 Dem nominee. Promises by out of state governors to raise millions were greeted skeptically.

It was not immediately clear what made Dean comfortable that Denver had settled these issues.

Conventions are growing less and less important with every election (as much as we'd like to hope the 2008 GOP convention starts with McCain, Rudy, and Sam Brownback deadlocked with 836 votes apiece, it won't happen), but this makes a little news. 1) There may be something to the Democrats' push to win Western voters over to overwhelm the Republican south and plains states. 2) Denver is the nucleus of a far less liberal breed of Democrat than New York; Gov. Bill Ritter, Sen. Ken Salazar, former Gov. Dick Lamm, and lots of conservative Democrats in the neighboring states. 3) If Hillary Clinton expects a coronation, she'll have to bring her own throne.