Democratic Convention


September 3rd - 6th 2012

In June 2010, Charlotte, St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis were named by the Democratic National Committee as finalists in the race to be the host city for the 46th Democratic National Convention scheduled for 2012. Initially, the announcement for the winning city was scheduled in December last year. However, a combination of the midterm shutouts, the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the State of the Union Address conspired to push the decision to February.

The first inkling of Charlotte’s selection as host came from an email sent by the First Lady on Feb. 1st 2011. The Democratic National Committee followed it up with an official announcement a few hours later through its Chairman, Tim Kaine. (read full transcripts below)


The selection of Charlotte demonstrates the intent of the Democrats to strengthen their hold in the region, following their remarkable capture of North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia in 2008, collectively for the first time in over twenty years. Obama’s capture of North Carolina was the first time the party had won there in 22 years, and that was achieved by a margin of less than a percent.

There were jubilant scenes in Charlotte, as the Mayor Anthony Foxx announced the Democratic National Committee’s decision to the excited community, who will benefit directly from the convention to the tune of an estimated $160 million dollars.

However, it was a disappointment for the other competing cities, most notably from the delegates of Minnesota, who were quietly confident of their chances in the days leading to the announcement. Mayor R.T Rybak of Minneapolis opined that the decision to award the hosting gig to Charlotte was a close one and was only made in the eleventh hour. A Democratic National Committee official, Frank Benenati concurs, stating that, “With all the factors on the table, Charlotte came out a little bit ahead."

The bid organizers for the city, Meet Minneapolis, through its CEO Melvin Tennant, commented that, “Democrats must have seen an opportunity to solidify the South”. Their disappointment was understandable considering that Minnesota has been a Democratic stronghold since 1972 whereas Obama only obtained 14,000 votes from Charlotte in the last election

Email from First Lady Michelle Obama to Democratic Party supporters, Feb. 1 2011


I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news. 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.

Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign -- from the Atlantic Coast to the Research Triangle to the Smoky Mountains and everywhere in between. Barack enjoyed Asheville so much when he spent several days preparing for the second Presidential debate that our family vacationed there in 2009.

And my very first trip outside of Washington as First Lady was to Fort Bragg, where I started my effort to do all we can to help our heroic military families.

All the contending cities were places that Barack and I have grown to know and love, so it was a hard choice. But we are thrilled to be bringing the convention to Charlotte.

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.

Brad, please share your input with us right now -- how can we make The People's Convention belong to you and your community?

I can't believe it has been more than two years since my brother Craig introduced me at the 2008 Convention in Denver. It truly feels like it was yesterday.

As I looked out at a sea of thousands of supporters that night, I spoke about my husband -- the man whom this country would go on to elect as the 44th President of the United States. I spoke about his fundamental belief -- a conviction at the very core of his life's work -- that each of us has something to contribute to the spirit of our nation.

That's also the belief at the core of The People's Convention. That the table we sit at together ought to be big enough for everyone. That the thread that binds us -- a belief in the promise of this country -- is strong enough to sustain us through good times and bad.

Barack talked at the State of the Union of his vision for how America can win the future. That must be the focus now, and I know so many of you will help talk about our plans with your neighbors -- that through innovation, education, reform, and responsibility we can make sure America realizes this vision.

But, conventions take time to plan, so please help us make sure that your thoughts and your ideas will ring all the way to Charlotte. Get started now:

Looking forward to sharing this together,



Announcement by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, Feb. 1 2011

Dear Member,

We had a tough choice to make this year. In deciding which city should host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, we were presented with strong cases by four of America's great communities. Today, I'm excited to announce that we have made our decision.

On the week of September 3rd, 2012, Charlotte, North Carolina will host the 46th Democratic National Convention.

This process offered some great choices. There were many cities eager for the opportunity to host our convention, and we are thankful for their participation throughout the year. The bid process was thorough. Our Technical Advisory Group conducted extensive site visits, and our allies and political leaders offered lots of important input.

After reviewing feedback from all these individuals, I am confident that Charlotte is an ideal location.

I want to congratulate the people of Charlotte, their mayor, Anthony Foxx, Senator Kay Hagan, Governor Bev Perdue, and every other leader who helped to put together this winning bid. I am looking forward to working with all of them to ensure that the next Democratic National Convention is one that will demonstrate the best of our party and our nation's political process.

In less than two years, I look forward to coming together with you to re-nominate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a second term -- and to help propel them to victory in November 2012.

We'll keep you updated as we move forward in this exciting process.


Governor Tim Kaine


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