Democratic National Convention
10:27 am
Tue February 1, 2011

St. Louis loses DNC 2012 bid, Charlotte, N.C. to host

Updated at 5:30 pm with further remarks from St. Louis Democrats chair Brian Wahby

The Democratic National Committee has announced its choice city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention -- and it's not St. Louis.

Charlotte, N.C. has been named the host of the event over St. Louis and other finalist cities Cleveland and Minneapolis.

The Charlotte Observer shared the details of an announcement email sent to DNC staff this morning from First Lady Michelle Obama:

"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." ...

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

Brian Wahby, chairman of the St. Louis City Democrats had this to say in his reaction to the announcement:

"Despite our disappointment, this nearly year-long effort to win the Convention was a useful exercise for our region.  We proved that St. Louis should swing for the fences.  Clearly, we have what it takes to do big things.  The significant investments we’ve made in ourselves and our city in the last quarter-century are part of what make us a great region."

Wahby later told St. Louis Public Radio's Adam Allington that the city had a better bid logistically, but the political need for the Democrats to show a strong presence in the South likely led to Charlotte's selection.

"We weren’t going for the American Association of Hip Replacement Surgeons," he said.  "We were going for the Democratic National Convention. Obviously politics would be involved in the decision."

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said she was "bitterly disappointed" with the choice in a statement:

“I’m bitterly disappointed at the Democratic National Committee’s choice. I’m incredibly proud of the bid put forth by St. Louis and how bipartisan the support was.  I want to thank the business community and all the local leaders, especially Mayor Slay, for their tireless efforts on behalf of the city.  This was an effort we should all be proud of.”