City Leaders Continue Push For 2012 DNC

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On the 17th floor of 400 South Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte is Will Miller, the man who's leading Charlotte's effort to land the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Miller spends every day either making phone calls or visiting other Southeastern cities, working to gain support for Charlotte's bid.

Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller visited Denver, the last city to host the DNC, to see what it takes to win the bid. Click here to read blog entries from his trip.

• For extended coverage of Charlotte's DNC bid, click here.

"I've been amazed at how little folks outside of Charlotte really understand Charlotte," he said. "If you haven't been here, you haven't really realized how much this city has changed. There are a lot of misconceptions about Charlotte."

Miller said Charlotte is somewhat unknown when compared to other convention finalists Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis, but he and his team are working to change that.

SLIDESHOW: Charlotte Attractions

SLIDESHOW: St. Louis Attractions

SLIDESHOW: Cleveland Attractions

SLIDESHOW: Minneapolis Attractions

"We're selling all the things that we feel the others are lacking," Miller said. "Our airport runs circles around the other airports and that's going to be a critical element."

Transportation In Potential Host Cities

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said he considers the other three cities "fierce competitors" in the bid for the DNC. Though he said he initially had to be persuaded to pursue the convention, Foxx now spends about five hours a week working behind the scenes to build support for Charlotte's bid.

"I think sometimes that people can develop the belief that you start pushing national things like this and you're doing that before you, yourself, are ready to do it," Foxx said. "I wasn't ready."

Foxx said he's working to build support in the city and outside of it, reaching out to political insiders in Washington and staying in touch with the convention selection committee members who visited Charlotte in late July.

"There have been questions that have come back, which is a good thing," Foxx said, adding that DNC rules prevent him from giving specifics of those questions or of how much money the city has raised so far.

Funding can be the biggest hurdle for any city to overcome, but Foxx said it may be Charlotte's biggest advantage. He pointed to the new Levine Center for the Arts in uptown as an example of that, noting that it was built with $83 million of private funding in a tough economic climate.

"In a recession, Charlotte was able to close that gap 100 percent, and I think that's an achievement for us," he said.

As hard as he and others are working now to win the convention, Foxx said the real work will come if Charlotte wins.

"It will be a challenge, not only for me, but for all of us," he said.

Miller said if Charlotte does win the bid, Foxx will be notified first. If the city doesn't get it, though, Miller said he will likely get word. The decision could come as soon as six weeks from now, after November's midterm elections.