Still, it makes sense for the state to help Pittsburgh present the best possible case since, as Philadelphia learned in 2000, hosting a national political convention can mean valuable national and international publicity for the state as well as the hosting city.
Garnering good buzz was a critical goal for Philadelphia, which has staked so much over the last decade on tourism and convention business. But Mayor Street wisely noted that the city couldn't afford the political and monetary capital it would need to woo the Dems here.
The city had to raise $60 million for the 2000 GOP bash, plus an additional $10 million for security. Imagine the security costs in the post-Sept. 11 climate. And Philadelphia needs all the resources it can muster right now for other priorities.
The city would have had a tough time persuading anyone that the benefits of investing so much in luring another national convention so soon would outweigh the costs. Mr. Street was right to observe that the city could not possibly reap a comparable return on the investment.
So, go Pittsburgh!