The next presidential election is in 2004. Some municipal officials are already thinking about Campaign & #039;04, and the sites of the national conventions.

"We & #039;re looking for either one of the parties to come to Boston," says Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who tried and failed to woo the 2000 Democratic National Convention to his city.

The mayor has reportedly filed Boston & #039;s preliminary proposal with the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Applications for the 2004 Republican National Convention aren & #039;t due until early next year.

Boston, which has never hosted a national convention, was one of three finalists for the 2000 Democratic convention, but lost out to Los Angeles, the site favored by then-President Bill Clinton.

This year, the DNC invited Boston and 34 other cities to submit preliminary convention plans.

"We came out of nowhere in 2000 to become one of three finalists," says Howard Leibowitz, who is heading up the dual convention drives for & #039;04.

We wish Mayor Menino and Mr. Leibowitz well.

We have no doubt that delegates traveling from Vermont and New Hampshire would like the convention in our section of the nation.

Most communities are certainly interested in tourism. Certainly, it & #039;s the turn of a New England city to reap the economic benefits of a national nominating convention.

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