Monday, December 18, 2006
Denver pols to party leaders: Go west, Democrats
DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- The city of Denver hasn't hosted a national convention in 100 years, but city officials are hoping the Democratic leaders will make the Mile High City home to the party's 2008 convention.
Denver is squaring off against New York for the top honors. The Big Apple most recently played host to the Republican convention in 2004. The last time New York staged the Democratic convention was 1992, when the party nominated then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton as its presidential nominee.
"Why should Democrats have their convention here? Because we feel that the pathway to the presidency is through the west," said Denver councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth.
Many Democrats agree a Denver convention would best capitalize on recent success in the West. In 2002, all eight Mountain West governors were Republican. Now, Democrats control five of those seats. And in the Senate, Montana Democrat John Tester just beat the GOP incumbent, joining Colorado's Ken Salazar, who won two years ago.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says a convention in his city offers "people all over the country a chance to rethink what being a Democrat is. Because Dems out here...come in all different stripes and sizes."
Councilwoman Wedgeworth downplayed concerns that Denver will be unable to raise the estimated $55 million needed to host the convention, noting that big corporations and even some Republicans have pledged money.
The Democratic National Committee is expected to decide on their convention location this week, Democratic sources tell CNN.
-- CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash
Watch Dana's full report on Denver's convention chances today on "The Situation Room," 4 p.m. ET
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