Democratic National Convention skips Minneapolis in favor of Charlotte [UPDATES]

The Democrats will kick it Charlotte.

The Democrats will kick it Charlotte.

You can put away the gas masks and quit wondering whether your new roommate is a snitch: Charlotte, N.C., has been picked to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012, beating Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Cleveland. [jump]

CNN reported the news this morning. A formal announcement should be made sometime today.

Mayor R.T. Rybak, along with other city boosters, had campaigned for Minneapolis to host the event--at the currently roof-less Metrodome--despite the turmoil visited on St. Paul with the 2008 Republican National Convention. The mayor figured the convention would be a boon to the city's image and bottom line.

Not everyone was on board, though. Activists launched and applied for permits as far back as August to stage protest marches on the convention, should Minneapolis have actually come out on top in the bidding war as host city.

Update: Rybak was a good sport about the loss:

We're obviously disappointed that Minneapolis wasn't selected, but having been a finalist for this selection proves once again that we have what it takes to host any major event. Trust me, we're going to continue to compete for them.

What do you think? Take the poll:

What's so special about Charlotte? Over in left field, Daily Kos suspects that Barack Obama's narrow victory there in 2008 gives the Democrats hope of a beachhead in the South for 2012, anchored by the convention.

Update: First Lady Michelle Obama announced the news in an official email, crediting Charlotte with everything from an up-from-the-bootstraps business environment to great barbecue. (Wait, isn't Michelle all about healthy eating?)

Update: Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post reports that union leaders are none too happy about the Charlotte choice.

Meantime, here's Rybak's unsuccessful video pitch.

DNC Minneapolis 2012 from DNC Minneapolis 2012 on Vimeo.