Senator Norm Coleman
Xcel Center, Sept. 1, 2008CE
Senator Coleman didn't speak to the RNC on Monday, due to cancelation of most of the day's activity over concern about Gustav. He made an appearance, gladhanding his way through the partisan crowd, granting interviews (though I didn't leap in at the right moment) and meeting old friends.
Google had a few internet connections set up, and that attracted me and a teacher from Wisconsin who was a McCain Delegate. Molly Ahlborn (mp3, 4:47)
Outside, it was a different story. The RNC's bunker mentality shielded it from the outside world. Fox News was all over the place, and in a huge display just outside one of the main metal-detector banks. Music blared from loudspeakers, chosen by the RNC. (The mc running the board couldn't grant an interview, and none of the security personnel were allowed to speak on the record to the press.) It was hard to leave. You could step outside, but then you met a high fence completely encircling the convention center. And then another one outside that.
Protestors outside the RNC
Note that they are marching between security fences
Sept. 1, 2008CE
And it was hard to get to the protest marches. They were completely encircled inside and out. I met with a few people outside the chanters.
Ben Kastan of VoteSmart.org, a non-partisan group (mp3, 2:08).
Timmy Payne (I'm guessing on the spelling of the last name) an individual protestor who had also protested at the DNC. He was unable to get back to the main body of marchers (mp3, 3:08).
Crowd Control at the RNC
Note that we're looking at riot police facing out
with more police near the protestors than will fit in the street.
Sept. 1, 2008CE
A first-hand account of one group of disruptive protestors by National Security Reporter Chris Strohm of the National Journal and Congress Daily. (Today's STrib reported 284 arrests as of midnight.) (mp3, 8:55).
More to come. Mideast politics! Partisan reporters! Boats on the Mississippi!