Thursday, September 14, 2006

Denver Bid for '08 Convention: "Disastrous"

That's according to Marc Ambinder of Hotline On Call, the National Journal blog.
The site selection committee had high hopes for Denver, located in a blinking-blue Mountain West state with a growing Hispanic population. But one Democrat briefed on the city's initial presentation called it "disastrous." Others confirmed that the general impression among site selection members of Denver was not positive, although a third iteration of Denver's bid, submitted last week, has been better received.

The city also lacks a union hotel, and even though the city’s labor leaders voted to table its outrage, it remains an obstacle.

We're still not out of the running, however. (via Rocky Mountain News)
But Debbie Willhite, the Denver 2008 Host Committee executive director, said the city’s proposal was characterized as "extremely thorough" by a member of the site selection committee just this week.

Still, Willhite said, the report Wednesday in the Hotline On Call, a blog of the National Journal, casts Denver in an unfavorable light.

"It does not reflect well on our bid, and it does not reflect well on our city," she said.

"But I would say also, unequivocally, it does not reflect the DNC’s current thinking about where Denver stands in this process. I was reassured of that profusely by the executive director of the Democratic National Committee," Willhite said.
Marc Ambinder, the blog reporter, said he stood by his story.

"To be honest, there were some initially who were dismayed by the quality of the bid," he said. "The technical aspects were not up to the expectations that they had for (Denver), and that disappointed them."

Ambinder said Denver’s subsequent submissions under Willhite "have gotten progressively better" and that many of the technical concerns have been answered.

"The question (now) is whether the DNC will be willing to give Denver a shot to sort of prove their bona fides and really go into the nitty gritty of these bids," said Ambinder, who has covered national politics for five years.

"I think by the end of this month we will know whether they’ve narrowed it down to (New York and Minneapolis-St. Paul) or whether they’re still keeping Denver in mind," he said.

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