CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The city's been abuzz the past few days. Emmy-nominated actress Ashley Judd was in Charlotte on Sunday stumping in various locations for Obama, saying, "I love my president." She is a delegate from Tennessee and will be back for the Democratic National Convention in early September.
Good thing Judd's not running for office, though, as Nancy Pelosi recently suggested that missing the DNC this year wouldn't be a big deal: "I'm not encouraging anyone to go to the convention," she said.
Instead, she wants those running for office to stay home and use their resources to get re-elected. Anthony Foxx, Charlotte's Democratic mayor, certainly looking to boost the economy in the city he heads, said he wasn't concerned with delegates staying home to campaign for themselves as "tens of thousands of Americans will be here…and we will put on a great event."
Rumors that DNC organizers are still struggling to raise the funds needed for the convention dog the Democrats. When questioned, Mayor Foxx sidestepped the answer, finally saying the fundraising is "right on track."
Local restaurants are wondering if the organizers really are on track for funding. "I was going to have everything done by now, staffed and planned," said Jill Marcus of Halcyon and Something Classic catering said. "There are still people coming in here and looking at china, and when you ask their budget, they say they don't have sponsors yet."
I have spoken with two restaurant managers (both requested anonymity) who say they have set their sights much lower for the DNC then first planned.
"Nothing seems to be firm as this point," said one.
Meanwhile, South Park Mall, the Queen City's premier shopping center, unceremoniously dumped massive amounts of water on unsuspecting shoppers during a rain storm last Friday. The mall's roof collapsed in two places, with debris filled water rushing past fleeing shoppers and employees. The mall closed immediately (partially reopening this week) with engineers surveying the damaged roof. Blame has not yet been assessed. Hopefully, the roof collapse wasn't the result of a design flaw and the soon to be here delegates will be able to shop without worry.
Charlotte Bachelorette Emily Maynard has been in the news for months while she's been wined and dined in her national search for a husband. Sunday night was the television finale with Maynard selecting the man of her dreams, Jef Holm, and accepting an engagement ring from him. Inquiring minds will be happy to know that Holm, from Utah, is living in Charlotte while he and Maynard contemplate their next step.
Stay tuned for more fun facts from Charlotte.
Karen D. Scioscia writes for the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina.