In January the DNC announced it would be downsizing its national convention from four days to three. The first day, September 3rd, would instead be used to celebrate the region with a big NASCAR-themed kickoff event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It makes perfect sense given what a huge NASCAR fan the President is.
Late Monday, the DNC announced another convention downsizing. The big kickoff event would be moved from the Speedway to downtown Charlotte. According to spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling the move was prompted by concern over the logistics of shuttling people 18 miles to and from the track. Logistically it just makes more sense to have the kickoff downtown with the rest of the events.
Of course the Charlotte Motor Speedway hasn’t moved since January, so why is this just becoming a problem now? Bloomberg News has the answer. “With a party ban on direct contributions from corporations, the host committee has raised less than $10 million, well short of its $36.6 million goal…” Ouch! Less than ten million is bad. It’s also vague. How much less than ten million did they raise?
With Democrats unable to raise even one-third of their fundraising goal, they were forced to cut a few more corners off their already stunted convention. They’ll need whatever money is left to outfit the 74,000 seat Carolina Panthers football stadium for Obama’s nomination acceptance speech. Hopefully Britney Spears’ set designer can come up with another colonnade of Doric columns on the cheap.
Usually any shortfalls in corporate campaign cash are quickly made up for by the Democrats’ union friends. In this case, that’s not happening because of more poor planning by Democrats. North Carolina is a right-to-work state, so unions “have been reluctant to contribute to the convention because Charlotte lacks unionized hotels and is in a state where compulsory union membership or the payment of dues is prohibited as an employment condition.”
But apart from the shortened convention, the last minute change of venue for the big kickoff event, the failure to raise even a third of the necessary funding, and irritating their best donors–other than that–this year’s DNC Convention is shaping up to be amazing.