With all the accuracy of a three-point attempt by his hapless hometown Brooklyn Nets, Mayor de Blasio yesterday missed his shot at scoring the Democratic National Convention for New York next year.
Even before the ink was dry on a DNC press release announcing that Philadelphia had won the convention, the spinning was in full force in City Hall where aides noted that the Brooklyn bid created logistical challenges that turned off the host committee.
Of course, that immediately begs the question of why the city decided to push Brooklyn’s Barclays Center instead of Madison Square Garden – which has successfully hosted four big political conventions since 1976.
De Blasio’s transformative midtown-dissing bid was bold – but maybe convention planners wanted something a little blander with a mayor – Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter – who isn’t trying to reinvent the Democratic wheel.
On top of that, Republican operatives could have had a field day mocking a Democratic convention set in a real-life “Portlandia” where artisanal mustaches and kombucha soup loom as possible realities. Kale isn’t exactly the food of choice in swing states like Ohio.
While Pennsylvania is hardly a swing state, it’s more politically diverse for someone like Chappaqua’s Hillary Clinton -- who probably wants to avoid having a convention that’s a little “too New York.” We often forget that a lot of people outside of the five boroughs love to hate us. And remember how well that Massachusetts coronation of John Kerry went in Boston in 2004.
Then there’s that nagging problem of where everyone was going to sleep. While there are more than 100,000 hotel rooms in New York City, only about 4,300 of them are in Brooklyn – with fewer beds near Barclays.
The idea that a delegate from Wyoming was going to board the D train to get back to the Hilton in midtown was a pipe dream of a Park Slope transportation advocate. And a bus ride from the Battery to Barclays during rush hour – even with a dedicated bus lane – is enough to make anyone reach for a map of Philadelphia and scream “Yo, Adrian!”
Despite all of these factors, I was still one of those inane hometown boosters who thought that the convention would inevitably be in New York next year. But – as I may have noted previously – I also thought the Seattle Seahawks were going to win the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, de Blasio and his crew can embrace the words of E.B. White who aptly noted that one of the beauties of our city is that every event is optional.
Here is New York – kombcuha convention or no kombucha convention.