“Terry knows that Bloomberg isn’t your run of the mill, reactionary Republican,” says one Democratic committee source. “He understands that Bloomberg is a Republican of convenience. We wouldn’t be embarrassed to have our convention in his city, no embarrassing protests or public transportation problems. He wants the Democrats there. And that was the message McAuliffe heard.”
The Republicans are looking at New York, too. But they also have other tempting options — New Orleans and Tampa Bay — to consider. Members of the site selection committee are said to be pushing for New Orleans. Members of the Florida press have been saying the White House would prefer Tampa, in part as a reward to Florida for helping Bush win, and perhaps to give him an extra bump going into the election.
“I think the White House is getting kind of sensitive about the ‘Florida payback scenario,’” says an RNC staffer. “That gets thrown around an awful lot. Every time the president goes down there, it’s payback. They aren’t going to want to hear that term used during the convention just before another presidential election. My money is on New Orleans.”
While the Dems are looking at Detroit and perhaps Boston or Miami, New York is increasingly appealing because of the underwriting the city would be willing to provide. New York is said to have offered to pick up more than $50 million of the cost of holding the event in the Big Apple. Detroit is said to have offered a bit less. Miami is the wild card. “What the city offers to cover is a big deal for us, but even if New York’s numbers were less than others’, it just makes sense. It has the celebrities, most of whom are Democrats, the media, the restaurants,” says another DNC staffer. “And it allows us to have people like the Clintons center stage all the time, since they live there.”
By that logic, expect Rev. Al Sharpton to hog the spotlight too.p> SUCKER PUNCHER
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