Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — Days after a site selection committee for the 2012 Democratic National Convention visited Charlotte, the College Democrats of America gathered at UNC Charlotte for their national convention.
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Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor and the current Democratic National Committee chairman, was the keynote speaker at Friday's event. Kaine had encouraging news about Charlotte's chances of winning the DNC bid, saying that the team was impressed by what the city has to offer.
"My team who is visiting has been very impressed," Kaine said. "I haven't gotten a final report from them, but I did get a few reports from the road and they felt very, very welcome."
Kaine said members of that technical advisory team, who spent Tuesday and Wednesday going over Charlotte's convention center, arena and hotels with a fine-toothed comb, should get a full report to him by early November.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx isn't waiting. He was conspicuously nearby during Kaine's visit, and said that was no accident.
"We just want to keep getting in front of the people who we know will be playing some role in the decision-making process," Foxx said.
That aggressiveness wasn't lost on Kaine, who said he won't handicap the competition between Charlotte, Minneapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis to host the bid, but that Charlotte leaders have a reputation for being forceful and successful.
"Nobody at this level is in any great doubt about whether they can do it," Kaine said. "So … Charlotte, I've been really impressed by their persistence."