State delegates told to pep it upby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
Denver — On day two of the Democratic National Convention, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak urged the Minnesota delegation to pep it up for the TV cameras.
At the delegation's regular morning meeting, Rybak, the co-chair of the state's delegation, listed off the names of several members who were particularly jubilant in their row on Monday night. And he asked the rest of them to follow suit.
"We are going to do a much better job tonight with coordinated signs," said Rybak. "You guys, when the music was on, you shook it. I want this whole room moving, like you guys were moving last night."
The delegation heard from a number of speakers before heading out to the Pepsi Center and the main event of the day --- an address by Sen. Hillary Clinton.
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-HI, brought the Minnesotans to their feet as he promoted Barack Obama's bid for the White House.
"This nomination is going to be the fulfillment of the dream of this nation -- that our diversity at long last is going to define us rather than divide us," said Abercrombie. "And that's what Barack Obama is going to bring. It is going to define us as a nation."
Delegates also heard from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, along with the mayor of Los Angeles.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman took a break from planning for the Republican National Convention, which will be in St. Paul next week, to attend part of the DNC in Denver. Coleman said he was really happy to be among Democrats.
"We've had a lot of Republicans in town, and after a while you kind of start assimilating and you get a little worried," said Coleman. "So you kind of have to come back here and be with Democrats, and really kind of talk about issues that matter."
Coleman also told delegates he's been helping DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken with debate preparation by playing the part of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. has further aggravated his Republican assimilation problem.
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Brian Melendez issued a warning to the delegation -- watch out for dehydration in the "mile-high" city. Melendez said a Minnesota delegate ended up going to the hospital on Monday for dehydration.