DOES HILLARY ACTUALLY WANT DENVER? A Rocky Mountain News story about Hillary Clinton benefiting from Denver being selected to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention is spot-on. Yet a source close enough to the site machinations told me last week that Clinton is really pushing for New York. I confirmed with Clinton blogger nonpareil Peter Daou that, in fact, Hillary wants NYC to host the convention.

As an advocate of the pan-western strategy for Democrats, with special focus on the Interior West and Midwest, I think it would be a tragic error to have the 2008 convention in New York. So long as Denver has sufficient facilities (I�m told it does) and can raise the money (I�m told this is the major impediment), Democrats could send a key signal to western voters by hold their first convention since 1928 east of California and west of Chicago. Surely Mike Stratton, a key Clintonite in Denver and one of the smartest Democrats I met while touring the country researching my book, knows that Denver is a far better site for a Clinton coronation than Manhattan.

All of which makes me wonder if the Hillary teams is really providing any resources beyond lip service to secure New York as the site. Sure, Clinton has to do her home-state advocate duty by superficially pushing for New York. But for the party�s sake -- and really, her sake -- I�ve got a hunch that she�s privately working behind the scenes to ensure that Denver is selected. If her instincts are as sharp as we�re told, she�ll feign disappointment that Manhattan lost, while privately clucking.

--Tom Schaller

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