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Replay: Chat with reporter Tim Funk about the Democratic National Convention

 Chat with Observer reporter Tim Funk about Democratic National Convention(02/01/2011) 
12:24
Chip Alexander: 
Tim Funk, the Observer's former Washington correspondent, is here to take your questions about today's news that the Democratic National Convention will be in Charlotte in 2012.

Tim has covered five national political conventions for the Observer. He was in Atlanta and New Orleans in 1988, for the Democratic and Republican conventions; in Houston in 1992, for the GOP's meeting; in San Diego in 1996 for the Republican convention; and in Boston in 2004, for the Democratic convention that nominated then-N.C. Sen. John Edwards for vice president. Funk, now the Observer's faith & values reporter, also served in the newspaper's Raleigh bureau from 1985 to 1990. Send us your questions.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:24 Chip Alexander
12:26
Moderator: 
Your moderator today is Ronnie Glassberg (not Chip Alexander), an assistant metro editor at the Observer. Please send in your questions for Tim.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:26 Moderator
12:29
[Comment From SharonSharon: ] 
What has benefits have other cities that have hosted the convention realized? We are so excited!
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:29 Sharon
12:30
Tim Funk: 
Name ID around the world, for starters. If other cities are a guide, cash registers will be ringing here for local businesses. People and CEOs will see Charlotte on TV and may like what they see -- the gleaming skyline, the hospitality -- and decide to 5relocate here.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:30 Tim Funk
12:30
[Comment From Jon TJon T: ] 
Tim - how big is this for the city of Charlotte in terms of growing this city? Does this prove Charlotte is a world-class city now?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:30 Jon T
12:33
Tim Funk: 
Right now, Charlotte still gets confused with Charleston, S.C., and Charleston, W. Va., and Charlottesville, Va. In fact, newspaper stories about us always add the N.C. I suspect we'll lose the N.C. and people around the world will know that Charlotte is the home of big bqanks, fast cars and is a growing energy capital. And we'll be a stand-in for the New South, so expect lots of stories around the world on BBQ and us being Billy Graham's home town and a NASCAR center. Also Charlotte is a diverse city, with a black mayor, and that will be played up, too.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:33 Tim Funk
12:34
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Sad Day...
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:34 Guest
12:36
Tim Funk: 
I'm sure some Republicans and a lot of people who don't like Obama would say it's a sad day. But even Republicans in the business community and some high-level GOP politicians can see the benefits -- economic, image, etc. -- that this will bring to Charlotte. And it guranatees that North Carolina will again be a battleground state again in 2012.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:36 Tim Funk
12:36
Are you excited that the Democratic National Convention will be in Charlotte?

Yes

 ( 60% )
No, wish they had picked St. Louis.

 ( 16% )
Don't care.

 ( 4% )
I'm a Republican but am still happy.

 ( 20% )


Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:36 
12:37
[Comment From SharonSharon: ] 
What advantage does this give the dems?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:37 Sharon
12:38
Tim Funk: 
It shows that Obama and the Dems are willing to fight again for parts of the South and not turn it over to the Republicans -- who are also meeting in the South (Tampa) for their 2012 convention. I think being identified with Charlotte -- a growing New South city that's a financial capital and is becoming a new energy center -- will give Dems the image of being with the future. That fits in with Obama's State of the Union message of "Winning the Future."
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:38 Tim Funk
12:39
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
just huge
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:39 Guest
12:39
[Comment From MaryMary: ] 
Now that we've got the convention, can we edit the list printed in yesterday's paper to remove the Firebird as our landmark... that was just pathetic! LOL
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:39 Mary
12:39
[Comment From KimKim: ] 
i lived in Denver when the convention was there. regardless of your political party, it was a great time - and good for the city all around.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:39 Kim
12:39
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
How many volunteers are usually needed for this type of effort and when does recruiting usually begin?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:39 Guest
12:40
Tim Funk: 
Thousands and soon.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:40 Tim Funk
12:40
[Comment From AlbatrosAlbatros: ] 
What part of the $45 million will come out of public/taxpapers funds, Tim?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:40 Albatros
12:41
Tim Funk: 
Not sure yet. Guessing most will be covered by private money. But don't underestimate the tax money that will be needed to police the event, get things ready.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:41 Tim Funk
12:42
[Comment From MaryMary: ] 
I was born a Republican and am a proud GOP supporter, but even I will admit this is a little exciting :)
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:42 Mary
12:42
[Comment From mattmatt: ] 
so happy for charlotte
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:42 matt
12:42
[Comment From mattmatt: ] 
I can't believe how much this place has grown since i've grown up here. Great day for the CLT
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:42 matt
12:42
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is it too late to get hotel reservations anywhere in town?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:42 Guest
12:45
Tim Funk: 
Better hurry. The Observer just put up a short story on charlotteobserver.com. Probably have to go through the Democratic National Committee. Each of the 50 state delegations will need lots of hotel space. So based on my experience at past conventions, hotels not only in Charlotte but in neighboring counties will get big biz. There could be delegates driving or busing in as far away as Salisbury, I'm betting. So call ASAP.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:45 Tim Funk
12:45
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
absolutely huge
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:45 Guest
12:45
[Comment From mattmatt: ] 
Hopefully this will be the last band-aid that needs to be applied to the city. Allowing us to pick up where we left off before the recession. A growing southern mecca
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:45 matt
12:45
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
"Battleground State" would be an assumption, and not one based on the last mid term
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:45 Guest
12:45
[Comment From JackJack: ] 
Tim - Would you say Charlotte hosting the DNC increases our chances that Charlotte one day hosts the GOP Convention, another Final Four, or even the Super Bowl?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:45 Jack
12:48
Tim Funk: 
Absolutely. Especially if the Dems have a good experience, with no problems re: lack of hotel rooms, security, etc. We'll get a national look-see by other big organizations that hold conventions. One catch: Charlotte has no unionized hotels -- NC has right-to-work laws -- and that makes today's announcement unpolular with labor leaders. That could be a factor for future conventions. But this is Charlotte's opportunity to prove to the GOP, the NFL, the NCAA, and others that it can handle big crowds with style. Our exciting uptown and the skyline are major selling points.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:48 Tim Funk
12:48
[Comment From oddooddo: ] 
NAALCP has to feel like idiots. Their boycot of this racist bastion is a failure.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:48 oddo
12:48
Tim Funk: 
I think the effects of the NAACP actions didn'
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:48 Tim Funk
12:50
Tim Funk: 
As I was saying, the effects of the NAACP actions apparently didn't play a major role in the Dems' decision. I think that's partly due to the fact that several high-profile African Americans who have Obama's ear -- including Mayor Foxx and US Rep. Mel Watt -- publicly disagreed with the local NAACP leader.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:50 Tim Funk
12:51
[Comment From johnjohn: ] 
As a Republicans who is not a Obama fan.I'm not one bit excited that the Democratic National Convention .Charlotte is not a Democrat city.It more of a Republicans city.North Carolina beside 2008 was a red state
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:51 john
12:53
Tim Funk: 
Not true anymore. Charlotte has become friendly to Democrats, as has Mecklenburg County. Look at the election results for mayor and county commission. And not only did Obama carry Charlotte in 2008, John Kerry carried it in 2004. Even former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the 2008 Republican candidate for governor, lost here that year.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:53 Tim Funk
12:54
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Will the controversial DNC be rejected with calls to local hotels by Cannon and Turner too?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:54 Guest
12:54
[Comment From DougDoug: ] 
Just realized the Yiasou festival will probably be the end of the same week.. So there's another 'to-do' for the conventioneers
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:54 Doug
12:54
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
It will be good publicity unless the Republicans retake the WH and they no doubt will the way things look.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:54 Guest
12:54
[Comment From SmithSmith: ] 
How do you think the convention being in town will affect folks who live or work uptown? How locked down will it be? Will office parking decks be taken over? I can only assume traffic will be miserable. Any ideas?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:54 Smith
12:56
Tim Funk: 
In Boston in 2004, many downtown businesses told their employees to just work at home -- or take vacation time. The security could be intense, especially when the president is here. It could affect bus and light rail riders -- police may want to make sure commuters are not carrying big suspicious-looking packages. Parts of some roads may be shut down. It will definitely affect many locals who live and work near uptown.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:56 Tim Funk
12:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Gas was 1.50 a gallon in Nov 2008 and today its over 3.00 and going to 5 a gallon. Wheres Obama?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:57 Guest
12:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Excited for Charlotte and just confirmed hotel res for week; how do I buy convention tickets?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:57 Guest
12:59
Tim Funk: 
Mostly it'll be delegates and friends of politicians who will get into the actual convention. If Obama gives his acceptance speech at Bank of American Stadium -- he gave his last one in Invesco Field in Denver -- there may be tickets available for that. Not sure you can buy them. There will be events all over town, including concerts by famous musicians, that might be selling some tix.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:59 Tim Funk
12:59
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
I think that focusing on misses the whole point of this announcement. The $$$ that is coming here is not label "Just for Democrats Only." Everyone wins!
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:59 Bob
12:59
[Comment From LauraLaura: ] 
I'm excited about the Democratic Convention! We definitely need the money poured into our economy. It will also help with our image after the NAACP presidant's comment.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 12:59 Laura
1:01
Moderator: 
We're about to wrap up, but Tim will take one or two more questions.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:01 Moderator
1:02
[Comment From JJJJ: ] 
Michele Obama said Charlotte was a world class BBQ city? Wow. Was she meaning Sonnys?
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:02 JJ
1:03
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
Has she been to Bridges? (let the BBQ wars begin...LOL)
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:03 Bob
1:04
Tim Funk: 
Look for Helen Schwab's blog re: BBQ on charlotteobserver.com. But I can say that Charlotte will be seen as a symbol for the South. So look for stories not only on BBQ, but on NASCAR and evangelical Christians and the black church and civil rights and hot weather.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:04 Tim Funk
1:05
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
CONGRATULATIONS CHARLOTTE!!!! (notice no ", NC")
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:05 Bob
1:05
Tim Funk: 
Let me wrap up with a few things.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:05 Tim Funk
1:06
Tim Funk: 
Expect a small city to basically move to Charlotte the week of Sept. 3, 2012. There will be 35,000 delegates and alternates. Could be as many journalists. Celebrities. Lobbyists. Street vendors hawking campaign buttons and T-shirts. The U.S. Secret Service.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:06 Tim Funk
1:08
[Comment From St LouisSt Louis: ] 
Congratulations Charlotte SC
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:08 St Louis
1:10
[Comment From mikemike: ] 
The first ever redneck DNC. Yahoo
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:10 mike
1:11
Tim Funk: 
A few more things: Already today, Charlotte skyline has appeared on the Wash Post and Politico Web sites. President Obama has good feelings about Charlotte and NC. He was the first Dem presidential candidate to carry the state -- and he did it by only about 14,000 votes -- since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Obama's win in the 2008 Democratic primary in NC helped seal the nomination for him and helped end Hillar Clinton's quest. Obams spent the night before his election at UNCC, speaking to a rally. This is a city with a vibrant black middle class and some up-and-coming African American leaders, beginning with Mayor Foxx. Plus, the city's slogan to win the convention -- "Reaching for Tomorrow" -- perfectly complemented the president's recent State of the Union address, with its focus on the future. Those are some of the reasons I think Charlotte got the nod for 2012.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:11 Tim Funk
1:12
Moderator: 
Thanks for your questions and for reading. And thank you to Tim for his time.
Tuesday February 1, 2011 1:12 Moderator
1:13
 


 
 
 

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