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Buyer’s Remorse

The city of Boston put a lot of effort into garnering the 2004 Democratic Convention. Officials promised residents that the convention would bring in a great deal of money and prestige to the city, and was even more delighted when favorite son John Kerry clinched the nomination.

That was then.

Now, we find out that the Secret Service wants to close down I-93 after 4:00 p.m. during the convention, because it runs right next to the Fleet Center. This closing started a chain reaction of more closings, until several highways and main thoroughfares were added to the list. That list kept expanding until it reached out as far as Route 95, and beyond. Traffic could be backed up as far as New Hampshire. It got so bad that Boston’s mayor, Thomas Menino, suggested that many Boston businesses simply close for the last week in July and send all their employees on vacation.

Then last Friday Kerry floated the trial balloon that he wouldn’t officially accept the nomination at the convention. Once Kerry is the official nominee, he gets his $75 million in federal funding and has to abide by election laws. As a candidate, though, he can keep spending the money he’s raised through his campaign. And since the Republican convention isn’t until September, Bush will have that much more time to spend his funds (he’s already announced he will forego federal funding for his campaign) against Kerry’s limited budget.

The Republicans leaped on this idea with a vengeance. They said that if Kerry doesn’t accept the nomination at the convention, it amounts to a massive four-day campaign event and not a major news story. They’re threatening to hold a four-day rally of their own in Boston during the convention, with enough supporters to outnumber the Democratic conventioneers, and demand equal coverage with the Democrats.

And so we have poor Boston. The promised bonanza from the convention is turning into the economic equivalent of a major blizzard. (To those readers outside the North, that means a lot of businesses close, nobody goes shopping, nobody gets paid, and public service expenses shoot through the roof.) And the one redeeming feature of the event, the chance to see one of their own accept his party’s nomination for President, is now being threatened, while Republicans make plans to add a fourth and fifth ring to the three-ring circus the whole thing has become, just in case Kerry decides to further explore the “nuances” that differentiate “candidate” and “nominee.”

The one bright point out of all this: it’s given those of us up her in Cow Hampshire yet one more reason to laugh at and feel superior to the “Massholes” just south of us.

J.

For more information on the situation, check out the stories here and here. and a whole page of stories here.


Comments (4)

Ah yes, New England politic... (Below threshold)
Tom:

Ah yes, New England politics...I have always been fascinated by how such a small area can harbor regional divides held with such amazing tenacity. Those freaking Massholes! =)

This whole Democratic convention thing really does stink, though. There was a lot of talk not too long about about how NYC was going to 'reject' the Republicans because they would be too intrusive in daily life. Well, I hope Bostonions weren't laughing too hard then =).

But hey, anything that gets any part of liberal New England pissed off at the Democrats is music to my ears.

Actually, Bush will accept ... (Below threshold)
Adam:

Actually, Bush will accept public financing for the general election. Neither he or Kerry accepted public financing for the primary election.

As one of the few Massholes... (Below threshold)
Jon:

As one of the few Massholes disillusioned with the Democratic party, I believe that all blame will flow off their backs. The governor (who happens to be a Republican) did make a suggestion to use a brand new convention center that would have required less traffic distress, but it was declaimed a Republican plot to do something or other.

On the other hand, you have New York, which is very handily planning on accomodating a political convention without a drastic shutdown. If that happened in New York, I believe that there'd be a riot, let alone being pissed off at a political party.

The Dems should tell the GO... (Below threshold)
Rance:

The Dems should tell the GOP to go ahead and have their 4 day event in Boston during the convention. Do they think they could book any hotel rooms?




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