Published August 31, 2012
Perhaps the only Republicans at this week's now-finished convention in Tampa who really want next week's Democratic extravaganza to go as well or even better are the delegates who call Charlotte home.
Even for these true-believing Republicans there is a sense of hometown pride in hosting the Democratic National Convention and they don't want anything to go wrong.
"We want everything to be safe," North Carolina Republican Party Vice Chairman Wayne King told Fox. "Tampa has been good to us," he added, then affirmed his wish that Democrats have a good convention week.
King said Charlotte has a more compact city center than Tampa and highlighted the transportation problems some Republican delegates have had this week. Exasperated convention goers have reported three or four hour trips to return to their hotels--especially after Tuesday night's opener. It's something King said should serve as a warning to Charlotte organizers.
91-year-old Rebecca Christenbury is a Pearl Harbor survivor and attended her first-ever national political convention.
"Life happens," she explained as to why it took her so long.
She gives good reviews to Tampa as host though would have preferred Ron Paul as the GOP nominee. As for Charlotte she says "it's God's Country" and will welcome Democrats warmly.
William Hamby lives just outside Charlotte and he too thinks the Queen City will handle the crowds just fine. He noted that Charlotte plays host to two huge NASCAR weekends -- with more than 100,000 fans -- every year. While the convention crowd is a little bit different, the hotels, restaurants and everyone else in the area should be used to the masses.
"You never know until you go through with it," he said. "You have to anticipate the possibilities."
Don't mistake southern hospitality from these Republicans for further Democratic success at the polls in November. King wonders how a national Democratic Party convention in North Carolina will go over with Tar Heel voters who tend to be more socially conservative -- including Democrats.
"It's going to turn people off," King said if Democratic messaging over the week puts a large focus on marriage rights for gays.