R.T. Rybak would put Democrats' convention in the Metrodome

Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak says he's pretty confident that Minneapolis will land the Democratic National Convention in 2012 -- and he wants it housed in the Metrodome.

We haven't been alone in wondering why the city would want to put up with the barricaded-to-the-gills event, especially with an incumbent president likely to show up. But Rybak figures the Metrodome will let the city have its cake and eat it too.

He tells MPR:

"Now what that allows us to do, there's a little more space around there, we can close down that area pretty well without too big of an impact on the rest of the region. Downtown St. Paul will stay alive, Bloomington will stay alive, downtown Minneapolis will be alive."

A posse from the Democratic National Committee will show up here July 18 to hear the mayor's pitch. They're also considering St. Louis, Cleveland and Charlotte.

Hamline professor David Schultz told us last week that he doubts Minneapolis will get the nod.

"There's a perception that where you put the convention can influence the way a state or a region votes," he said. "There's not necessarily any evidence for that, but the fact that Minnesota will almost certainly vote Democratic in the presidential election means its more likely that one of the other cities will be chosen."

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