Denver 2 Minneapolis 1: Where’s the ‘there’ here?

Denver has taken a lead over St. Paul News Cut’s Convention Competition. Today’s category: “There’s a there there.”

Here’s Denver’s “there,” the core of the convention activity on the 16th Ave. Mall.


The place where all sorts of “characters” showed up…


… where there were street musicians and people trying to make a buck. There was the giant Guitar Hero game. It was a never-ending show.

Where’s the show in the Twin Cities? Where’s the “there” here? It’s not St. Paul. Other than the kids and the cops, people meeting in a convention behind barricades, and a few restaurants within spitting distance of the security zone, there’s nothing going on there.

Naturally, there’s even less economic trickle-down out around Grand and St. Clair. I stopped at the St. Clair Broiler on Monday afternoon and learned I’m only the third convention-related hack to show up there.

And so I headed to Minneapolis in search of the Main Street of the Republican National Convention. Nicollet Mall would be the logical choice, but it was mostly empty, too. Few delegates, no bands, no hucksters, no show, no festive atmosphere and no (daytime) fun.


Some establishments were closed to get ready for private parties.


The Dakota was all locked up because of the big “Keep Florida Red” celebration featuring LeAnn Rimes on Monday night. The minimum cost to get in? $10,000.

The National Education Association reserved another establishment on the same block. The NEA is thick in the Democratic Party, but as things shifted to the Twin Cities, the union stressed its Republican membership. One of every 3 teachers is a Republican, the union trumpeted.

Nearby Brit’s Pub was also closed because of an event hosted by a women’s business group.

With the media dropping us like a hot potato, about a third of the total attendees have disappeared. Unfortunately for the vibe, it’s the third that tends to mingle with real people. The remaining attendees mingle with themselves at private parties and receptions.

Even the opponents seem down. Here’s the Unconvention headquarters:


High-noon on the mean streets of Minneapolis…


Other than an occasional whiff of tear gas, there’s very little for Minnesotans who aren’t big spenders to experience at the convention.

Where is the convention hiding? If you find it, drop me a note. I’ll check it out.