"Inviting as many as 20,000 guests to Minneapolis and St. Paul for the convention will have an incredible economic impact. People will stay in hotels. Go out to dinner. Spend money. Shop. And return home with wonderful stories to tell about Minneapolis-St. Paul."
Jeremy Hansen, spokesman for Mayor R.T. Rybak
September 28, 2006
After the Twin Cities were awarded the convention
Sen. Joe Lieberman, (i-Connecticut) lit up the crowd, according to the crowd, at the Xcel Energy Center last night. A rootin' tootin' former Democrat was the GOP's best pal during his speech on Tuesday evening because he's for their guy.
"Lieberman makes the case to Hillary Democrats...and plain old Democrats..vote for the man not the party," tweeted Michigan party boss Saul Anuzis.
So why isn't the guy John McCain wanted as his running mate on the ticket?
Because, according to Charlie Cook (who has more contacts on the inside than just about anybody), Republicans don't like the guy.
"From the folks I talked to, Sen. McCain wanted desperately to pick Sen. Lieberman but then too many party leaders said 'at best, you'll have a walkout, at worst they'll burn the building down if you pick Lieberman.' He was so committed to making a pick that would shake things up that if you can't pick Lieberman or Tom Ridge, Gov. Palin was the next choice."
Angered that he couldn't choose his own running mate, according to Cook, McCain
Lieberman "gave the (party) establishment the finger instead."
"I assume that everyone here is impressed with my control of this convention in that my choice for Vice President was challenged by only 39 other nominees. But I think we learned from watching the Republicans four years ago as they selected their vice-presidential nominee that it pays to take a little more time."
That was Sen. George McGovern starting off his speech to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. It wasn't exactly a stemwinder; little about his bid to be president was. Even Minnesota voted Republican that year, the last time it's done so at the top of the ticket.
A few minutes before that speech, 42-year-old Sen. Tom Eagleton stood on the podium, his arms raised in triumph. Not long after, Eagleton was bumped from the ticket after it was revealed he had been hospitalized three times for treatment of depression.
In a sign of strength that it no longer has, the nation's major newspapers -- the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times -- called for -- and got -- Eagleton's resignation.
The McGovern candidacy was doomed no matter what he did. If the South Dakota senator had stuck with Eagleton, there'd be questions about his fitness for office. When he dumped Eagleton, it launched questions about McGovern's judgment.
Last month, the now-85-year-old McGovern reflected on the what-he-should-have-dones:
In view of the fact that we knew it was going to be a very tough battle with Nixon and he would use every technique possible to win re-election, we might have been cautious about going ahead with Sen. Eagleton if we had known that he had had a 15-year history of depression, mental illness that would almost make him incapacitated during those periods. It's not that he should be punished for that, but we at least should have had that information before we made a final judgment. And that was what caused all the confusion about what to do with it.
Today, 2008, people have a much better understanding of mental illness and especially depression than they did 36 years ago. I didn't know much about it myself. I don't claim to have been an expert on clinical depression. Abraham Lincoln struggled with it most of his adult life. At one time he said, "I'm the most miserable man." Another time he talked about being "the saddest man on the planet." It's a terrible affliction that can really put you down. And so we would have, I think, before we made a final decision on Sen. Eagleton, if we had known about this history of illness, we would have had time to talk to the doctors, talk to the psychiatrist, talk more to Sen. Eagleton than we did.
Eagleton died last year.
Given the way Republicans embraced 9/11 and the stories of heroism at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, it was mildly surprising that they wouldn't do the same with the stories of the I-35W bridge disaster in Minneapolis.
That changed -- at least a little bit -- on Tuesday when Shanna Hansen spoke (above).
Many of us know her from a different profile:
She played it straight, however. No politics.
But looking back after a year, what strikes me most about that tragic day is how in-between the chunks of broken concrete we got to see the best of the human spirit in action. I have never been more proud to serve as a Minneapolis firefighter; to work as part of a team with the paramedics and police that showed up to serve our community.
Two area bloggers are doing a bang-up job (that's probably the wrong phrase) documenting the two major protests that have degenerated into scuffles with police in St. Paul over the last two days.
The Adventures of Johnny Northside blog has a compelling blow-by-blow description (that's probably the wrong phrase) of the action outside Mickey's Diner:
10th7th and St. Peter, in front of Mickey's Diner, a group of protesters taunted police. At one point, police appeard to push the crowd or lunge at the crowd. A half-filled plastic water bottle came sailing through the air toward the officers. Police appeared to spray something into the crowd, but no distinctive pepper spray odor was apparent. There was a discussion among some members of the crowd whether "bunk gas" was being utilized: something made to seem like pepper spray to scare off a mob, but without much actual physical effect.
Meanwhile, highly-regarded local blogger Aaron Landry documented the scene on Monday at one of St. Paul's hot spots -- Jackson Street -- where he and a friend convinced a woman to give them a ride out of the danger...
The most unnerving moment was on our way out. A man in a gas mask stood in front of the SUV staring at our driver to her the face, refusing to move. The ugly face of terrorism was standing in front of her vehicle. She froze, with her hands on the wheel and did not honk or try to move. It was a frightening scene. I yelled, "go around him" and Stacy opened her door and yelled, "Get the **** out of the way, we're press" and another man yelled, "if you're press, ****ing cover this!" Meanwhile, the mob was coming up behind us.
Stacy's a concert photographer, lawyer and music blogger. I'm an IT Manager for a design firm, social media consultant and blogger. We were doing citizen photojournalistic roles and the situation changed where we decided that our safety was more important than covering the event.
Both blogs are an example of journalism at its finest, especially during a difficult story. They both also prove that the written word remains the most powerful medium.
(Update) Media watcher David Brauer has an excellent first-person account from AP photographer Matt Rourke, who was detained on Monday, but who's gotten little notice because his parents didn't name him Amy Goodman.(2 Comments)
The McCain campaign -- and most everyone else -- has warned reporters not to focus on the pregnancy of the daughter of vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin. A candidate's children are "off limits," the candidates themselves usually say. It's not an unreasonable point.
So why would you make the young Palin, and her soon-to-be-husband, part of the photo op with the arriving Republican presidential-nominee-to-be at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport today?
It's not just Republicans, of course. Candidates have regularly used their kids to portray an image.
When are the children of candidates "off limits"?(19 Comments)
Two stories out today paint a picture of how well embedded police sources were in the groups that had promised to shut down the Republican National Convention.
Here's the application for a search warrant that was submitted to the Ramsey County Court last week, that details the role of informants in the investigation.
Police allege the group of self-described anarchists plotted for more than a year to burn vehicles, spear police with sharpened poles, blockade bridges and wreak criminal havoc on St. Paul this week, according to MPR's Linda Fantin.
This afternoon, meanwhile, the law enforcement officials in charge of security for the convention released details of the arrest of a man in Wisconsin last week. Says a news release:
According to a FBI affidavit, (Matthew) DePalma became known to the FBI in July 2008, when DePalma attended the CrimeThinc Convergence near Waldo, Wisc. During this event, DePalma allegedly stated his intention to travel to Minnesota to attend the RNC, and also expressed his desire to "make some bombs" and "blow up" things during the RNC.
The release reveals that authorities monitored his Internet use, tapped his phone or apartment, and tailed him.
The affidavit states that DePalma went to the Hennepin County Library on Aug. 18 and spent 90 minutes researching recipes for explosive devices. DePalma produced a handwritten list of items he would need to construct "special" Molotov cocktails that would stick to people and other targets.
DePalma's conversations, recorded on Aug. 20, described a plan to place a bomb near the Xcel Center during the RNC in an effort to disrupt the convention. The plan involved entering the tunnels near the center and using either Molotov cocktails or a chemical bomb to destroy electrical cables and cause a power outage. DePalma, the affidavit states, also described a related plan to use napalm-filled Molotov cocktails on the streets against police officers stating, "I will light one of those pigs on fire."
The affidavit states that DePalma obtained supplies for making Molotov cocktails on Aug.
21-22. On Aug. 22, DePalma allegedly manufactured two jugs of a homemade napalm-like substance for use in Molotov cocktails. He created a flammable gelatin, and described to another the proper technique for throwing a Molotov cocktail to obtain the best explosion. DePalma continued to discuss his desire to make a bomb for use at the Xcel Center on either the convention's first day (Sept. 1) or last day (Sept. 4).
According to the affidavit, DePalma stated that if he could bomb the center on Sept. 1 they might call off the convention. He added that a "power outage would say a lot" and that it was his "main purpose." DePalma also said that he would like to bomb the Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 4 so that the convention would "end with a bang."
DePalma was observed traveling to a remote location in Rosemount for the purpose of
assembling and testing Molotov cocktails. On Aug. 25, DePalma went to a remote location in Roseville for the purpose of experimenting with chemicals for a chemical bomb.
The affidavit states that DePalma manufactured three additional Molotov cocktails in a
Minneapolis apartment on Aug. 28, where he was arrested. The affidavit states that DePalma possessed a total of five Molotov cocktails between Aug. 22-28, which were not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by law.
In the picture, pick out the journalists. You can click on the image to make it larger.
Even in the relative calm when this picture was shot, it's difficult to determine who is a journalist, who is a protester with a camera and who is actually a protester but is saying he/she is a journalist.
Add a little action into the mix, and smaller credentials aren't much help.
A news release from the people in charge of the police today appears to suggest that the police aren't going to waste much time this week trying to determine who's a real journalist, and who are the posers.
Law enforcement responsible for security and public safety in the Twin Cities area would like to remind members of the media of the proper procedures for staying safe during unlawful assemblies. When police officials request the breakup of an unlawful assembly by announcement to the gathered crowd, that order applies to all individuals, including the media. A quick and orderly dispersal is more likely to help people, including media personnel, stay safe and avoid arrest.
Because still cameras, video cameras and other recording equipment are commonplace at large events or gatherings, it can be difficult for law enforcement and others to differentiate between credentialed media, un-credentialed media or others who may carry similar equipment. While law enforcement in no way wishes to restrict First Amendment rights, members of the press must also follow police orders to protect their safety, the safety of police and others.
(Photo via Getty)
The political analysts on the cable networks are a lot more honest when they're off the air. A couple of Republican commentators -- Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy -- went off script when talking about the Palin pick, after concluding an appearance on MSNBC.(2 Comments)
MPR's Steve Mullis has pulled together a Google map (don't click the map above,it's just an image, instead go here.) showing the listed hometowns of people who were arrested in St. Paul on Monday and Tuesday.
It's not a scientific presentation. Many of those arrested are giving phony names and addresses.
We've taken their names off.(1 Comments)
Several Minnesota delegates to the Republican National Convention apparently decided today the streets of St. Paul aren't safe to walk on.
Some of the delegates, who are staying just down the street, took a private bus to the Xcel Energy Center today. According to a Twitter account by delegate Bethany Dorobiala, they didn't think it was safe to walk the streets of St. Paul.
A protest by Code Pink broke out near the entrance to the security perimeter near Landmark Center around midafternoon.
This all comes as a more typical political convention vibe arrived in downtown St. Paul today. Maybe it's because the star news anchors and their minions are back. More likely, it's because the "characters" have arrived and are walking the dangerous streets of St. Paul.
The two people I most wanted to talk to today, weren't talking. Their were chaplains for the St. Paul Police Department. They were going up to each officer asking how they were doing. They're under orders, like the rest of the police, not to talk. And they insist they're boring, anyway. But I'll bet there's a good story about the humanity surrounding the last couple of days there.(2 Comments)