Convention Beat: August 15, 2008 Archive

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Meet and Greet

Posted at 9:18 AM on August 15, 2008 by Tim Nelson (1 Comments)

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Here's a guest posting from MPR reporter Laura Yuen:

The first of five trainings for Republican National Convention airport greeters got under way at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport yesterday. That's organizer Terry Ferguson giving the would-be hosts a quick look at the facility.

The effort is organized by the Airport Foundation MSP, a nonprofit that oversees the hundreds of cheery volunteers - many of them retirees - who kindly answer questions at the info desks on any given day at the airport.

The first batch of RNC volunteers started out with tours of the airport, where their guides pointed out lockers, service centers and e-ticket machines along the way.

Lest you think the job was all about directing all those delegates and media to the baggage claim, volunteer Jan Leach of St. Paul said it's much more. Leach and her husband, Ed Pickett, say they're there to represent Minnesota - and dispel those pesky stereotypes of flyover land.

"We just want people to see our beautiful city and know this not the hinterland, and they're not going to have to sleep in the barn," Leach said. "This is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, lovely place to live and work and have fun."

But even if they do their best to give our Republican friends a Minnesota welcome, what would happen if a delegate happens upon this T-shirt? It was on display at one of the airport newsstands.

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Don't worry, Republicans. There's one for you, too.

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