Charlotte is one convention away from dumping its Mayberry image. That's right, the Q.C. won the Democratic National Convention.
First Lady Michelle Obama announced the choice this morning in an email to members of the Democratic National Committee.
"I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news," she wrote. "Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 46th Democratic National Convention in 2012.
"Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an "up by the bootstraps" mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue."
In an email Mrs. Obama sent to National Democrats, she went on the to say, "
We hope many of you can join us in Charlotte the week of September 3rd, 2012. But if you can't, we intend to bring the spirit of the convention -- as well as actual, related events to your community and even your own backyard.
More than anything else, we want this to be a grassroots convention for the people. We will finance this convention differently than it's been done in the past, and we will make sure everyone feels closely tied in to what is happening in Charlotte. This will be a different convention, for a different time.
To help us make sure this is a grassroots convention -- The People's Convention -- we need to hear from you. We want to know what you'd like to see at next year's convention, how and where you plan on watching it -- and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors."
Sorry Commissioner Bill James, your antics didn't stop the convention from coming here. But you can't help but wonder if Charlotte will take a page from Atlanta's book and ship all the rednecks and malcontents to Union County?
Charlotte beat St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Cleveland to play host to the DNC. I wonder if the committee told the folks in Cleveland, "We're taking our talents to North Carolina."
N.C. Senator Kay Hagan said in an e-mail that she applauds the decision to bring the convention to Charlotte.
I am thrilled that Charlotte has been picked to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012. The economic impact of the convention will be a terrific boost for the many businesses, restaurants, stores and hotels in Charlotte.Once visitors see everything weve got going on, I know it will promote tourism to the region in the future. I talked to Chairman Tim Kaine last week and told him what an outstanding place our state is to live, work and vacation.
From our world-class museums to our down-home cooking to our southern hospitality, I know Charlotte has so much to offer. I cant wait for the convention attendees to see firsthand why North Carolina is the best state in the nation.
So, will the economic impact of the DNC save the libraries, CMS and middle school sports? How much will hosting the DNC cost Charlotte in the end? One thing is for sure, the nation will now know that we're not Charleston.
Pulling off the best convention the world has ever seen, as Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx has pledged to do, is not going to be cheap. At an afternoon press conference where the city celebrated the fact that Charlotte won the bid, Duke Energy's Jim Rogers said it will cost between $40 -$50 million to put on the convention. So, expect donation requests to start rolling in.
President Obama sent his congratulation in a tweet: