September 4th, 2008

New Tilley Hat

Day 2, part 3

CodePink women outside Pro-Life gathering
St. Paul, 9/2/08

Day 2, part 2 was all about Covering the Coverage. Here, I cover the coverage of the coverage and talk to Steve Myer of the Poynter Institute, a media watchdog and journalism education site. (mp3, 4:35)

A small entourage of people stopped by the Information Booth to ask directions to a room in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. The guy in the wheelchair proudly displayed some of his Republican Convention memorabilia from conventions past. I quickly got a few comments from him, the last few as we were rolling. I'm guessing on the spelling of his name... Bruce Hanson (mp3, 2:12).

Heading out of the convention center, I'm greeted by one of the "Moms Trust McCain" ladies and her husband. They are headed to a Pro-Life gathering (dinner? luncheon?) a few blocks away. She alerts me to further demonstrations near where we're headed, closer to the river. We don't see anyone along the way, but as she heads into the hotel, she points me in the right direction. Sure enough, around the corner in front of the main entrance to that hotel: CodePink! They were outrageously dancing and singing to an updated version of "Alabama Song". I interviewed Nina Klooster, who was holding a sign (that's her on the left, above) and not in costume (below). (mp3, 4:08)

Peacefully but outrageously singing in front of RNC delegates
St. Paul, 9/2/08

The bus ride home is it's own story, but not one related to the RNC.

Coming, Day 3: CivicFest in the Minneapolis Convention Center, Extreme Free Speech in Rice Park, a friendly delegate.

Plan, Day 4: I'm on the Floor! I hope my iPod has enough juice to last through all the speeches...
New Tilley Hat

RNC Day 3, part I: CivicFest

Eagle at CivicFest
Eagle At CivicFest
demonstration by the National Eagle Center
Minneapolis Convention Center, Sept. 3, 2008

Heading to the RNC via bus from downtown, I decided to stop at the Mpls Convention Center to check out one of the other conventions. (I didn't get to Ron Paul's convention.) CivicFest was an exhibition hall full of memorabilia, lectures, films, demonstrations and even a hucksters room.

Of course, many people attending the RNC ducked over to Mpls for the Civic Fest. Apollo Fuhriman visiting from Seattle, wearing a big blue elephant, was having a blast at both events. (mp3, 3:58)

Unlike the RNC, convention staff was only too happy to talk. Judy Morneau ("like the ballplayer") was a volunteer, helping people learn how to use voting booths to name the national eagle. (mp3, 4:43)

Baron Dave Makes Headlines
Baron Dave Makes Headlines
Capitol Report booth, CivicFest, Sept. 3, 2008CE

Back in the huckster room (no, they didn't call it that) Peter Fleischhacker was dressed as Pig's Eye Parrant, was touting the Capitol Report, and taking pictures like the one above. (mp3, 3:24)

First Lady's inaugural ball dresses
Laura Bush's gown (in the picture) was the only original
as at the RNC, Laura Bush was mentioned frequently at the CivicFest,
and George W. Bush's name rarely spoken above a whisper

Minneapolis Convention Center, Sept. 3, 2008CE

I missed the Newt Gingrich connection at the time, but American Solutions had a booth with a sign that served at the backdrop to Newt's appearance on The Daily Show the day before: "Drill Here, Drill Now. Pay Less." I talked with Michael Krull who manned the booth. (mp3, 7:49)

CivicFest auditorium
Civic Fest auditorium
Minneapolis Convention Center, Sept. 3, 2008CE

Leaving the convention center to catch the bus on Nicollet, people came out of their tent to urge me to take a bicycle. It was free! And they had a lot of bikes. Asking for an interview, they led me to Amanda Dvorchak and Jan Mudd, Corporate Communications Analyst and Mpls Sales Director in Mpls, respectively, for Humana. (mp3, 6:08)

Next: Extreme Free Speech.

Tonight: Floor Exercises.