So, speeches are over, the balloons have dropped, the Republicans have abandoned Minneapolis-St. Paul with almost as much alacrity as they once did New Orleans and it's time for another listicle of shit I wish I'd found a reason to write about before now.
- That protester that was above my head during McCain's speech (that I was frankly worried was going to get tossed from his perch by angry Republicans) was Adam Kokesh from Iraq Veterans Against The War.
- The infamous balloon drop was pretty cool, but it only hit the delegates on the floor and none of the people in the stands, which I thought kind of lame. I don't know that it was so cool that it was worth the whining that I heard about it not happening at Invesco, especially when people started popping the balloons and I was all thinking, yeah, that part of it would've totally freaked people the fuck out in Denver.
The swag bags, like in Denver, were mostly filled with things I wouldn't bother paying an extra fee at the airport to carry home (like fake Nalgene bottles, which I assume a legion of hotel maids in Denver, Minneapolis and St. Paul are currently enjoying or selling on eBay), but the RNC had the single best piece of swag of both conventions: RNC-branded Kraft Mac and Cheese. Also, as I mentioned once, here is John McCain's head-on-a-stick, a stress ball piggie (make your own jokes) and the 50 zillion press credentials the RNC insisted I carry around with me. But the really, really excellent part of the RNC Mac&Cheese?
Yeah, elephants and pentacles are the shapes.
- Overheard at the RIAA's Daughtry concert on Wednesday, from a girl drinking a Heineken while I partook of one of my several glasses of Korbel champagne, "They don't have any real American beers down there, like Bud or Miller. This is such an un-American party."
- The Real Baberaham Lincoln.
Look, the RNC was some slim pickings. Plus, you're notice that he was there pushing for D.C. voting rights, so I had to shout the boy out.
- The story no one reported on: the logistics of this thing were a complete clusterfuck. The convention center wasn't near any of the other events, and the other events were miles away. One friend of mine never bothered going to the convention, whereas I spent 30 minutes (minimum) getting to the convention or an event from my hotel at the ass end of nowhere in the suburbs. The only people that made real money from this were cabbies.
- Actually, there was one thing that worked far more smoothly than at the DNC — security. It was so much easier to get through security in St. Paul than it was in Denver even though all the procedures were the same, which made me wonder if the Secret Service had it out for Democrats.
- The Hurricane Information Center was this really great idea when it looked like Gustav was going to be really bad, and they basically plucked this woman, Emily Roberts, from convention-volunteer obscurity and made her run it.
By the time I dropped in on Tuesday, most of the conventioneers using its services (TV access, computer access, phones and fax machines) seemed to be regular people checking their email. The people who made the best use of the services provided by the RNC? The contracts from New Orleans who set it up the weekend before the RNC and were desperately trying to get home and get information to and about their families. So, the RNC did help some regular people out.
- Thursday night was the best people watching of the night, where sightings included Henry Kissinger, Rosario Dawson's ass, every reporter I'd ever met and some I hadn't yet and Wonkette creator Ana Marie Cox, who actually recognized me when I introduced myself and who was exceedingly nice to me. We watched Kissinger together for a while, as though we'd be able to tell what he was talking about with the creator of YouTube. Her guess? China.
- One person who thankfully didn't recognize me or the grin that says, "I really shouldn't be doing this"? Bill Kristol, who was actually incredibly gracious about it unlike Randy Scheunemann.