Dateline: Minneapolis


Your reason team began its invasion of the Twin Cities yesterday afternoon, just in time for a corporate-tastic "MORE TO LIFE" party at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. On the way there I ran into the staff of The Daily Show, who were bummed that Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty wouldn't return their calls and credential them for the Monday-Tuesday Rally for the Republic. "If they're worried that we'd make fun of them: Well, yeah," said field producer Miles Kahn. "Who do we not make fun of?"

Back to the party. It was on a slightly smaller scale than the corresponding party in Denver, which I take as a further sign that corporations are putting their money on blue and expecting to work with Democrats come January. Security was mellow, hence the presence of Code Pink ne'er do well Medea Benjamin:

The topics of the night were Hurricane Gustav and Sarah Palin. On Gustav, I'd characterize the Republican reaction as one long "phew." Bush and Cheney can't come to the Twin Cities? Oh, too bad! Fresh-scrubbed Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) will be on TV screens demonstrating how a zero-experience executive gets things done? Good luck to him! No one yet was talking about the possibilty of further convention nights being cancelled or reworked. That's all happening today.

On Palin, what had been a sense of euphoria was tempered by 24 hours of blinkered news coverage. The consensus was that Palin could be a disaster or a narrow boost. If McCain had picked a bland white guy running mate, he'd be on the path to defeat: with Palin, he at least has a chance of exciting the base and pulling some female independents for victory. Be assured, exciting the base was what this was all about. Rumors swirled about how much money the campaign had raised since the pick (around $7 million) and how this was a jolt for bored, distaff conservatives. But there's a heavy expectation that reporters will try and trap Palin in a gaffe on an issue she 1) doesn't understand or 2) disagrees with the 72-year old guy on. And if that happens, we're in Quayle Country, population Ferraro.