Gary Rotstein's The Morning File: Democrats hardly need reason to visit Pittsburgh, but here are some


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Pittsburgh is one of 15 cities invited to submit bids to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Here are 15 reasons why it should be selected, to the benefit of either the city or the Democratic Party, and you can no doubt add some of your own:

1. That police vehicle that makes a piercing, deafening sound assaulting the eardrums of peaceful protesters hasn't been getting enough use since the G-20 summit in 2009, and this would be a good excuse to keep it tuned up in working condition.

2. There's a chance that the Furries won't come here for their annual convention in 2016, so we had better have another odd-looking collection of visitors at the ready to boost the local economy.

3. It would reassure the rest of the country that not every Pennsylvanian is a supporter of 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.

4. Former Mayor Sophie Masloff would make a fine keynote speaker for the Democratic convention, but they might not understand her in any other city than Pittsburgh.

5. If the thousands of convention-goers had a hard time here finding booze to take back to their hotel rooms, it could prompt them to use their sway with Democrats in Harrisburg to help abolish Pennsylvania's state store system.

6. We're not as expensive as New York City, not as crazy as Las Vegas, not as dull as Salt Lake City, not as depressing as Detroit, not as hot as Atlanta, not as conservative as Phoenix, and so on and so on as a better middle-ground choice than the other 14 cities.

7. It would be great practice for hosting the 2020 Super Bowl, the 2024 Summer Olympics and 2028 Ukrainian peace summit, which would demonstrate to the world once and for all that Pittsburgh has every bit the quality of restaurants and hotels as Detroit, Sochi or Kiev.

8. It would be fun to see Hillary Rodham Clinton -- after receiving a special invitation from the Pirates as the Democratic presidential nominee -- try to throw out the first pitch or sing the national anthem at PNC Park while she's in town.

9. Everybody in America should have a chance to eat a Primanti's sandwich before they die -- or as they die, from choking on its girth or having it assault their heart and arteries.

10. By 2016, Downtown might have a cinema multiplex the conventioneers' wives can attend; and water taxis on the three rivers might have become sustainable as an alternative, enjoyable form of transportation; and the August Wilson Center might be presenting something to attract a crowd; and the 64th floor of the U.S. Steel Tower might have an attraction drawing people to the view at the top; and a Gene Kelly statue would welcome people to the Cultural District; and ... well, maybe not.

11. If the convention prompted all the Republicans in town to clear out for the week, it would be a lot easier to commute to work on the Parkway North.

12. CNN's Erin Burnett might not otherwise ever come to Pittsburgh, and the author of The Morning File thinks it would be great to have her around for a week.

13. The national Democratic Party platform should really have something in it about not having to pay for street parking after 6 p.m. or on Sundays, and it would be a lot easier to include that here in Pittsburgh, since our city council has already debated the issue numerous times.

14. The extensive media coverage might help us finally shed that "hell with the lid off" image, unless the world's biggest fracking disaster lights up Pittsburgh International Airport just as all of the convention-goers are arriving.

15. There is probably some ranking or list somewhere that shows Pittsburgh as No. 1 in the nation for tolerating long, rambling speeches by out-of-town visitors, due to our innate politeness and friendliness, before we give them directions afterward on how to get out of town -- presumably by referring them to a former Isaly's, A&P, Kaufmann's, Esso station or similar landmark our brain synapses won't let go of.

Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255.


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