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Democrats' best site

Democrats scouting Philadelphia as the possible site for their 2016 national convention have already found the right place. Philadelphia knows how to host political meetings. Remember that Continental Congress gathering a couple of hundred years ago? Want more recent evidence? The Republican convention here in 2000 was a success. Plus their candidate, George W. Bush, won in the fall.

In this Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 photo, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, left, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, standing by the microphones, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, second from right, appear at the Independence Beer Garden to kick off Philadelphia's final push for a winning bid to secure the 2016 Democratic Convention, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ed Hille) MAGS OUT; NEWARK OUT
In this Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 photo, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, left, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, standing by the microphones, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, second from right, appear at the Independence Beer Garden to kick off Philadelphia's final push for a winning bid to secure the 2016 Democratic Convention, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ed Hille) MAGS OUT; NEWARK OUTRead moreEd Hille / Staff Photographer

Democrats scouting Philadelphia as the possible site for their 2016 national convention have already found the right place. Philadelphia knows how to host political meetings. Remember that Continental Congress gathering a couple of hundred years ago? Want more recent evidence? The Republican convention here in 2000 was a success. Plus their candidate, George W. Bush, won in the fall.

And by 2016, the city will have had a chance to improve its amenities by hosting the Catholic Church's 2015 World Family Meeting, where more than a million are expected, possibly including Pope Francis.

Other cities competing for the Democratic convention include Birmingham, Ala., Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Ariz., and Brooklyn, that storied New York borough with a good view of Manhattan. But Philadelphia has the clear advantage in all the criteria.

This city has more than enough hotel rooms to handle such an event, ranging from elegant to moderately priced accommodations. The available meeting facilities include the spacious Wells Fargo Center as well as the Convention Center.

If there's a question about fund-raising for the convention, look at who is heading up the effort to find donors: Ed Rendell, the former mayor and governor who has broken political contribution records.

Philadelphia is compact, easy to navigate, and accessible by all modes of transportation. Any delegate who becomes bored with floor speeches from little-known political wannabes can hop on the subway to City Hall, where renovations to Dilworth Plaza should be complete, and take a refreshing walk to Independence Mall, or Washington Square, or Rittenhouse Square.

Philadelphia has pop-up parks, beer gardens, first-rate museums, historical attractions and other cultural venues, nightclubs, sparkling hotels, fine dining, and exceptional recreational activities along the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. Even the most cantankerous political operative would find it difficult to have a lousy time here.

But there are more reasons than the fun to be had for the convention to come to Philadelphia. For example, as the Democrats build their platform, they can use Philadelphia's schools as an example of the challenges in urban education. Better solutions must be found for school districts in states that have abdicated their responsibility to adequately fund public schools.

Politics, of course, will play the decisive role in choosing the convention city. The Republicans chose Cleveland for their 2016 meeting, in part, because Ohio is a battleground state. The Democrats know they can't win the White House without Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. So they should act like it, and bring the national convention to Philadelphia.

"Let's make history again" is the slogan of the committee that is trying to persuade the Democrats to meet here, which includes Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. They should make the point that with Hillary Clinton being a frontrunner to become the Democratic presidential nominee, it would make sense to hold the convention in the city of brotherly love, and sisterly affection.