The party’s over

So that’s it, then. Like a long-planned wedding, the Republican National Convention has come and gone and here we sit waiting for the photographs, wondering if we did the right thing.

How was it for you?

Share your stories of experiencing the convention — or not — in the comments section.

  • Mac Wilson

    I’m just eager for things to get back to normal. I didn’t think this week was so bad, mind you; it was nice to give the Twin Cities some national exposure. But I feel like I’ve been living in a different city for the last week; this isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, just that uncanny feeling of being in familiar surroundings, yet a totally foreign environment. Since it felt like being somewhere else, I’ll equate it to the trip I took to Europe a few years ago: it was fascinating for a while, but in the end, it was good to come back home.

  • GregS

    The party is over. Only one question comes to mind.

    Did MPR/NPR notice that there were Republicans in town. Your coverage was so stilted, so biased, so over the top that it was worse than useless.

    Look at NewsCut today.

    Scan your eyes down this column. Is there ANY mention of the Convention? All I see is ranting about protesters and police.

    It’s pretty clear where you are coming from. But then it always is.

  • I’m in a cranky mood, GregS, so I will take issue with that.

    Do you know what my friends call NPR? Nice Polite Republicans.

    MPR is less that than mainstream NPR, but your implications are wrong. And what would you have Bob do? “Ignore” the protesters, because they disrupt the narrative of the convention?

    Like it or not, and whether or not you agree with their views and actions, the protesters and their actions ARE news.

  • Alison

    Greg, did you listen to MPR this week? It was practically all convention/all Republican all week.

    I’m really confused about your statements. You said MPR/NPR didn’t seem to notice there were Republicans in town and then said the coverage was ‘over the top’. Which was it?

    I for one am thankful for the outstanding coverage I have heard this week on the air and seen on the website. Hopefully the MPR crew covering the convention can get a much deserved break now that it is over.

  • Nick I.

    Meh, where at first I was ready and willing to welcome tens of thousands of people into my city, I’m certainly thrilled they’re leaving.

    I work the farmer’s market on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, and while it was fun to see a few delegates here and there, we didn’t really see a difference in sales like we were expecting. I know that St. Paul was pretty much the same- only worse- but Nicollet Mall yesterday was bustling for the entire nine hours I was up there. Even with our informal on-the-fly “delegate discount”… not many stoppers.

    So yeah, I guess the only really cool thing I’m taking out of this experience are later bar times. Are we going to get another weekend of 4am closes?

  • Bob Collins


    News Cut’s job was NOT to cover what’s going on inside the convention. We had more than a dozen reporters to do that and if you go look at the front page, your argument collapses, especially if you should happen to take the time to also go back and look at the coverage from Denver, which did the same thing

    News Cut’s job was to capture the flavor of the convention on the cities. That’s why I talked to businesses and caterers and cops and average people.

    This page, by the way, only includes the last day of posts… and it’s clear you haven’t really critically reviewed News Cut, or the rest of the MPR News site, before you made your point.

    You can just look at the last 7 posts, you have to look at the more than 70. Do that, then come back. And next time, please be more specific and comprehensive.

    By the way, our political blog is Polinaut.

  • Jim

    The poll is leaning heavily toward “No” at this time – also my vote. I had a bad experience in St. Paul with the mercenary cops. I doubt the outsiders got much exposure to our fair cities and it brought our citizens nothing but grief from my experience. Good riddance to them all.

  • DAST

    For someone who works near the Excel center, it was like working in Soviet-held East Berlin. The security fence sprawled all over the place, my parking spot was remanded, and it was difficult to get out of the city after the work day.

    However, as I left or entered the building, several good-looking athletic men were always eager to assist. “May I help you? Ma’am! May I help you?” especially when I had to dig something out of my purse. They were a little young, and their attire was a little too techno-goth for my taste, but delightful eye-candy nonetheless. Lovely German Shepards as well.

  • Peter

    Overall, the Mayor and the City of St. Paul did a good job with convention.

    One effect of the violent protestors was to keep people away from St. Paul and cause an adverse impact on businesses and many of their lower income employees. As usual, the left elevates feeling good about itself over the impact of its actions on real people. As usual, it seeks to place blame on others and seek victim status.

    Kerri Miller’s over-the-top hectoring of the Mayor is typical of the effort to blame “the Man” instead of people who actually proclaimed their intent to cause mayhem. Miller’s bias, always present, is really approaching self-parody.

  • bsimon

    The only things I noticed about the convention were two American flags painted on the highway berms near the airport. As far as I could tell from my routine, it could have been held in a studio on Mars.

  • Nadia

    I am so glad it’s over. I have felt like I am living in a police state for the past week. I live two blocks off W. 7th, so I have been able to witness quite a bit from my home, and I have been mortified by the excessive use of force and fear tactics police used, especially with journalists. We had the fortune of having two independent journalists stay with us, and they had the misfortune of being arrested for simply trying to do their job (their arrest videos prove they did nothing wrong). I had higher hopes for St. Paul and for free speech- I have seen a lot of civil liberties trampled on and really lost faith in the people’s ability to disagree (peacefully) with government. Even more disturbing is how the journalists report they were treated in the jail- constantly dehumanized by the guards. I feel like I have been living in a foreign country under occupation. I certainly did not feel personally safer as a result of the police presence; It was clear that they were NOT here to protect me and mine. I have never experienced anything like this. I am a peace advocate, but I am slowly beginning to understand why normally peaceful people in occupied countries grow to resent their occupants and a police state and may react with anger and violence. The response by law enforcement was really counter-productive. I wonder how the city of St. Paul plans to respond to those of us who feel this way, and to restore faith in the local law enforcement?

  • erik

    We should not host such events in the future until the city can effectively forewarn citizens of the breadth of disruption and intrusion we will face, both the citizens who live in Saint Paul and those who commute to Saint Paul. What disturbed me most about the proceedings was that Saint Paul was transformed nearly into a police-state. Citizens were obviously uncomfortable as there were less citizens taking evening strolls and at local stores in the early evening, compared to usual.

  • Stephanie X.

    I second Nadia’s comment. I didn’t participate in the protests, but I really don’t approve of the police state atmosphere at all. Way over the top.

  • Dave

    I have to believe the costs, including the 50 million of our federal tax dollars gifted to the RNC but Crown party representatives in DC, make this a bad deal for anyone financial responsibilitywise.

    If they want to party, party. But expect t pay fully for your little private blowout. Get off the subsidy train both you bums.

  • Kathryn

    It will be interesting to hear what St. Paul businesses have to say . . . was it the expected boom, or an unexpected bust? Since it was hard even to bicycle into the city, to shop, or to visit the Y, or heaven help us get to work, I can’t imagine the RNC made it worthwhile for the regular businesses. Any downtown business owners with a report? I’m only hoping some of those businesses with temporary leases hang around a few weeks so St. Paulites can check them out. The city desperately needs more business downtown!

  • Jim

    Cities would be wise to look at hosting a convention like this more as if it were jury duty, an obligation, versus an opportunity (next time, let’s tell them we’re sick).

    And I agree the citizens should have been warned about the impact on their lives.

    I was down there and I was much more afraid of the goon squads than I was of any alleged violent protesters.

  • Steve

    Our medical business is near west 7th and we had to cancel or reschedule many patient appointments. The convention also resulted in many inconveniences to our employees including loss of their parking spaces, longer commute times and the inability to use some of their favorite lunch spots. The comparison to jury duty seems appropriate. Is the comment on a post that the federal government picked up $50 million of the bill true?

  • pat

    It doesn’t take a PHD in math to figure out that when the state invites a right wing extremist group to hold a major event where they call people names and insult anyone who has an intellectual age higher than 3, there are going to be some protests. The right wing party did not have a court ordered permit to hold this thing, so there was no reason for having it. Instead of this, our elected officials should have spent the money a little earlier and used it to replace a defective bridge that could not be repaired.

    Perhaps if the public media was informative, instead of just being a platform for frequently invited right wing guests to spew out propaganda without ever worrying about being corrected, the state would be a better place to live.

    How about reporting the truth. Iraq did not attack New York. Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear weapons program or stockpiles of biological WMD, and he was not harboring Al Qaeda terrorists. He was actually their enemy. These were all lies that were told by Bush, Cheney and McCain. And 6 years later, the McCain campaign and the elected officials who act as his attack dogs or sycophants, along with the current president, are still implying that some of these things were true.

    Another thing is that the price of oil went through the roof because of the war in Iraq. Who’s fault is that?

    When I was 5 years old, I could go to the park and get the Vice Presidents autograph. There was a time when people actually wanted the Vice Presidents autograph. The current Vice President can’t even show his face at his own party, and nobody will even say his name. They don’t want to admit that they plan to continue his policies and propaganda.

    The Public TV and Radio coverage of this event was enough to make me puke.

  • Ann

    A negative for this local business.

    As a Grand Ave. business owner, I had maybe three people in my store who were here because of the convention. Our regular business nearly vanished. I did not have big expectations about possible additional sales from the event, but I was not at all expecting it to be such a negative for business. The big fences seemed to trap people downtown – Grand Ave. was far quieter than normal.

  • Dave

    Steve, google it!

    Party representatives sponsored legislation and voted to approve 50 million federal tax dollars for the RNC, and an additional 50 Million Federal Tax dollars for the DNC. Three year olds guarding the cookie jar couldn’t have made a more efficient usurpation of the public cookies.

    It’s what the party does best, places its’ interests in front of those of the nation. They just don’t understand that they are not the nation, just one tiny part of it and no more entitled to theivery than anyone else, or any other organization.

    I would love to hear a lame justification why their party gets 100 mil, and no one elses deserves anything extra. It would be good to note the elietisim in the response.

  • Minn Whaler

    Please tell me that Mrs. McCain paid for her outrageously priced “last night of the convention outfit” our of her own pocket. It’s obscene enough that anyone could spend that amount of money on clothing, but definitely couldn’t handle knowing it was somehow assisted by campaign funds, or government finances…

  • Bob Collins

    This question came up on Midmorning today, Whaler and the guest — a political analyst — had a good point. Both of these candidates for president are rich — filthy rich — and they both lead lives of luxury that the average person can’t possibly comprehend.

    The same is true of the Bushes. The same is true of the Clintons. They are wealthy people with the ability to spend large amounts of money on themselves.

    What they choose (there’s that choice word again) to spend their own money on is not as important as the public policy they advocate and direct.

  • Linda Reed

    Bob, we think you are off base about this. Larry and I often vote with the Republicans, but we think of ourselves as Minnesota independents. We were shocked to hear how much Mrs. Mc Cain spent on that outfit. We think that she could find a nice outfit at a regular store and focus her efforts in other places. Too many of us–and our neighbors–are hurting now. When they say that they understand the sufferings of the middle class and dress like she does, it creates a problem for us.