Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Meet Us in the Middle; Our View; Republicans and Democrats Should Bring 2016 Conventions to St. Louis; OPINION

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Meet Us in the Middle; Our View; Republicans and Democrats Should Bring 2016 Conventions to St. Louis; OPINION

Article excerpt

Pardon us while we fast-forward to 2016.

Like many in St. Louis, we were disappointed that the Gateway City finished second to Charlotte, N.C., to host last week's Democratic National Convention. St. Louis actually was ranked higher than Charlotte in many of the nitty-gritty categories that matter to convention planners.

St. Louis had the downtown hotel rooms, the venues, the mass transportation, security, regional cooperation and, of course, the fundraising. Even deep-pocketed Republicans were willing to pitch in to put this great city on the national stage.

What St. Louis didn't have was an election story for President Barack Obama to tell in a state that he thought he could win.

The time to cry over spilled milk is long over. That's not what we're doing here today.

We're dreaming.

TWO CONVENTIONS BETTER THAN ONE

In 2016, St. Louis should be the leading candidate to land the Democratic National Convention. Mayor Francis Slay has already indicated that city leaders plan to bid again for the annual convention that will bring thousands of visitors and millions of dollars in investment to the city.

But why stop at one convention?

Five times in the 20th century, both major political parties chose to hold their conventions in the same city. In 1932 and 1944, Chicago hosted both Republicans and Democrats. The reason then was logistics as much as anything else. Travel was expensive. The conventions weren't on television. The middle of the country made sense.

In 1948, both conventions chose Philadelphia. Missouri's own Harry S Truman won the Democratic nod while Thomas Dewey was selected as the Republican nominee. In 1952, both conventions returned to Chicago, and 20 years later, in the election that gave us Democrat George McGovern and Republican Richard Nixon, both parties hit the beach in Miami.

St. Louis shouldn't simply seek the DNC convention in 2016. It should leverage its front-runner status - and its location in the middle of an America that needs to reconnect to its political center - into two convention bids. Before St. Louis sought out the Democrats in 2012, the Republicans asked the city about holding their convention here. The city demurred.

It's time to correct two mistakes with one big play.

St. Louis should seek both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2016.

WHY NOT ST. LOUIS?

Meet us in the middle, America.

Imagine two political parties, weary of the extremism of the 2012 election, seeking to bring independents and moderates back into the fold.

What better place to tell that story, side-by-side, party-vs- party, than St. Louis, Missouri?

St. Louis is a blue city in a red state. It has the struggling urban schools that Republican Condoleezza Rice called the civil rights issue of our time at this year's GOP convention and the rebuilding automotive industry that Mr. …

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