Bill de Blasio

Brooklyn Bids for 2016 Democratic National Convention


From a few years ago spanning back to, oh, always, it would have been unthinkable for New York City to vie for a major national event by offering to hold it in Brooklyn. But in a formal bid announced Friday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention at downtown Brooklyn's Barclays Center. 

"The shift to Barclays Center from Madison Square Garden, a Manhattan institution that has played host to four Democratic conventions and one Republican, would be freighted with symbolism," writes The New York Times' Michael M. Grynbaum. "Bill Clinton, who ushered in a new era of Democratic centrism, was nominated for president in 1992 after a dramatic entrance into the Garden's cavernous arena." 

But Clinton-era Democratic centrism is as out-of-vogue as ironic trucker hats in Williamsburg. Perhaps a nominating convention in Brooklyn "would be a way to underscore any leftward tilt in the Democratic Party's platform," Grynbaum suggests.

The Barclays Center, is should be noted, is part of the controversial Atlantic Yards redevelopment project. Unlike the more organic growth in other parts of Brooklyn, this redevelopment involved the city coming in with eminent domain statutes blazing and totally gutting an entire neighborhood. The area around the Barclays center—which de Blasio describes in his bid letter as "one of the most dynamic and resurgent neighborhoods" in the city—is now a cesspool of chain stores and restaurants surrounded by some of the worst traffic I've ever encountered in all of New York City. 

"The progressive spirit of New York City has never been stronger or more vibrant that it is today," de Blasio wrote in his letter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). New York was among 15 cities invited by the DNC to submit convention bids.

The recent trend in Democrat and Republican nominating conventions has been to hold them in swing state cities, the better to rally the soccer moms. But there are a few reasons why Democrats could ultimately choose Brooklyn for 2016—the most obvious being that the ostensible frontrunner for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, has made NYC her adopted home. 

Also, without another candidate like circa-2008 Barack Obama, Democrats will face a typically tough time getting young voters motivated (unless the Republicans go full-tilt so-con, that is). Though today's 20-somethings may skew liberal, they don't necessarily skew Democrat. So building a little millennial fervor at the convention, if possible, couldn't hurt. And it seems a whole lot more possible to attract young liberal types in and to New York City than, say, middle America. 

Anyway, for a fun take on all this see The Washington Post, where Philip Bump reports live from an imaginary future DNC convention in Brooklyn. "We strongly recommend that you not leave the greater Barclays/Bloomberg/Uber area," our future tour guide cautions. "It's not dangerous, as such, but outside of the immediate vicinity we will not be able to provide you with the proper trigger warnings for your excursions."  

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  1. I would recommend the (vacant) Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Facility.

    Then seal it once they are inside.

    Of course, this runs the risk of 300 foot Democrats rampaging across the US in 15 years…

    1. “These Crater Footprints Are STIMULUS!”

      /Kaiju Democrat

  2. Is Hillary really going to want to be crowned in Brooklyn?

  3. The Olympics in NYC would be another reason for me to despise that city and not visit it again. Last visit was – I think – 2002.

    So – I’m in.

    1. I should have been clearer – “A CONVENTION? Think BIG! This is the BIG APPLE! Think – OLYMPICS!”


  4. Yay! Hipster artisinal mayonnaise for everyone!

  5. Jesus. I’m gonna have to make sure I’m out of here by then.

    Fuck. It would probably mean TSA at the Atlantic/Barclays subway hub.

  6. That photo is a terrifying black-hole of self-awareness

    it is in fact the Domino Sugar Factory.. a place that developers have begged to destroy and replace with more Gentrifying Hipster Housing but which the Gentrifying Hipsters have DEMANDED remain untouched in order to ‘preserve the local ‘culture’ that they are otherwise actively destroying wherever they plant their Soy Brownie Shops and $3000-studio apartments…. because *everyone knows* if they can keep just one ‘rotting derelict symbol of the former industrial past of Waterfront Brooklyn’ then, well, *we’re all morally better for it’ or something. Meanwhile all the actual locals have begged hopelessly for the building to be demolished because it spreads Rats all over the fucking area.

    just to the right of that “almost looks like American Gangster*!” image? is THIS

    I live(d) just behind all that.

    (*and yes, this is where they shot most of American Gangster)

    The meta-texual story behind the photo is actually a perfect case of why the Democrats want to plant their Convention in BKLYN. You can see the “Progtard” radiating out of here from outer space.

    1. Very good points. I’m reminded of the idiots in Detroit who kept suing to NOT tear down the old Tiger stadium.

      Just think about that for a bit…..

      FINALLY it happened. And of course shortly after the city went bankrupt so, SEE, WE SHOULDN’T HAVE LET THEM TEAR DOWN TIGER STADIUM!!!

      Wait, no, that’s not what I meant!!

    2. We were practically neighbors, then! Although I was a bit further down into Hasidic-area Kent.

    3. “Just to the right of that “almost looks like American Gangster*!” image? is THIS”

      yep, and:…..5223611409…..5223611409

  7. Waterfront Brooklyn Hipster Nirvana

    Because those old guys playing Bocce ball? Yeah, they’re totally going to take the subway from where they live to where they got totally *priced the fuck out of* to play fucking Bocce ball near the really loud concerts in the nearby park

    that feature of the image is pretty much the equivilent of jesus riding a dinosaur

    1. The guy crossing his legs in the foreground. Jesus.

      1. It could be Ellen.

    2. Huh. That image looks oddly artificial.

      1. You think?

    3. That is some remarkably shitty concept art.

  8. Cleveland is trying to woo the RNC convention. Good thing there’s approximately a 0% chance of me living here then.

    1. Hey – at least it’s not Detroit.

    2. The sole reason they drafted Johnny Manziel was to lure the RNC there.

  9. Why is NYs waterfront such a pile of shit?

    Is it just zoning keeping private redevelopment out?

    1. No, it’s NIMBY’s preventing any change. The zoning has been changed (mostly by Bloomberg).

  10. Isn’t New York supposed to be under 20 feet of water by 2016 due to AGW? Looks like Team Red made the smarter move by going further inland.

  11. some of the worst traffic I’ve ever encountered in all of New York City

    Then don’t drive there – there’s like a dozen subway lines converging on that corner.

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