The Democratic National Committee is trying to decide where to hold the 2016 Democratic National Convention. According to reports, the finalists are Brooklyn, New York, Birmingham, Alabama, Phoenix, Arizona, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — and Columbus, Ohio.
A few days ago Columbus city officials and civic leaders hosted a delegation from the DNC, trying to convince them to come to the capital city of the Buckeye State. The tried to use crowds, reasoning, friendly signs and t-shirts, and a blue carpet to sway the DNC decision. Given the audience, I think an appeal to naked political self-interest is far more likely to be effective. So I say:
Democrats, you owe us — and you’re going to be here, anyway.
Ohio is the battleground state. You pester us with polls, bombard us with ads, stop traffic for rallies, and hassle us in more ways than we can count in every election. We put up with this crap in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012, and we’ve spent countless tax dollars on police protection and the other municipal services that the constant campaigning requires. You owe us! We’re entitled to have your delegates fly into our airport, book our hotel rooms, shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, visit the bigger-than-life statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and — not incidentally — pay all of the taxes that such activity generates. Fill our coffers, baby! We’re entitled to it!
You’re going to be here, anyway, so you’ll all save on travel expenses if you start out here. You may as well get to know the good new restaurants, and the excellent new bars, because you’ll be returning again, and again, and again as the election draws near. Contrast that with Brooklyn or Philly, which are solid blue, or Birmingham, which is redder than Red Square. Phoenix is red, too — red hot. Those places are locked down, one way or the other. In contrast, Ohio is so deep purple that its residents might as well hum the opening chords of Smoke on the Water with every step. Wouldn’t you like to have some friendly, and early, firsthand exposure to the swing voters who inevitably will decide the election?
One other thing: the Republicans are holding their 2016 National Convention just up I-71, in Cleveland. They know they need to win Ohio, and they’re pulling out all the stops. Are you really going to dis us and give the Rs a leg up on raking all of our crucial electoral votes? It’s time for the Party of Jefferson and Jackson to make the pilgrimage and put its money where its mouth will be during the fall of 2016. You want to win Ohio? You’d better come to Columbus.