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DNC in the Q.C. 

Charlotte is in the Super Bowl of political conventions. But, while many believe we have already won, the game is just beginning.

Like Green Bay — which few saw being a Super Bowl contender this year — Charlotte is in the game; however, we've got a long way to go before we officially clinch the title. It's going to take laser focus, teamwork, humility, leadership, strategic plays and quick recoveries. And instead of facing some rival team, we're playing against ourselves — because we are the only ones who can stand in the way of victory.

Yes, we wrestled the Democratic National Convention away from St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis to become the host city for the 2012 convention. Charlotte will be on the world's stage, playing host to no less than 30,000 delegates. By all accounts, the Queen City was the underdog in this matchup because of its reputation as an emerging metropolis (the home of the "New South," if you will, which quite frankly doesn't mean much to people outside of our geographical borders).

Ironically, it was those factors — along with the Democrats' strategy to bring the fight for votes to the South — that sealed the deal. Our fellow Americans will no longer confuse Charlotte with Charleston or Charlottesville. They will now know what we know: Charlotte is a desirable location with charm and an increasingly diverse population that is a banking center for a reason — we know how to close deals.

Landing the DNC is about more than partisanship — it's about business. Republicans and Democrats are coming together to make this the best possible situation for the entire city, region and state. The more business we can attract to the area, the more people we can employ, the more small businesses we can support and the more cash we can pump into our economy. This is the case for jobs leading up to the convention and jobs during the convention. It is estimated that the DNC could bring $150 to $200 million to Charlotte.

Some are wondering if the DNC will do for Charlotte what the Olympics did for Atlanta. Before the Olympics, Atlanta was an emerging metropolis with an influx of people from all over the country, and that was because of the great cost of living, decent weather and shifting demographics. Like Charlotte, Atlanta was on the cusp of becoming a world-class city and needed a major event to push it to the next level. The 1996 Olympics proved to be just the boost the city needed, getting the infrastructure, energy and brand recognition that comes from hosting a world sports event.

The DNC is not the Olympics, but it is a major event that will attract a huge national and international audience. While Charlotte already has the infrastructure in place that is needed to host a convention of this magnitude, the transformative possibilities of the DNC are innumerable. Will the DNC be the boost that we need to move us from the status of an emerging metropolis to a major city that is a major player in business and politics? It seems that we are on our way, and hopefully the energy and excitement that punctuated the announcement that Charlotte had indeed pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the world of political conventions will continue.

Victory is ours if we stay focused. Like the Packers, few saw us coming, but by the end of the game, everyone will know that we came to win. It is clear that the ball is in our hands. One only has to read the glowing e-mail Michelle Obama sent out to campaign supporters on the Tuesday (Feb. 1) it was announced: "Charlotte is a city marked by its Southern charm, warm hospitality, and an 'up by the bootstraps' mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Q.C. is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds."

The DNC, the first lady and many supporters have handed us the ball. It is our job not to fumble it.

For another take on the 2012 Democratic National Convention, read this week's Boomer With Attitude.

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