After returning home yesterday from the CD3 GOP Convention, I turned on the Northern Alliance's radio show on the Patriot. Michael Brodkorb was lashing out at me [though not by name] for various complaints he had about my behavior at the CD3 GOP Convention. I replied to him, correcting him on his multiple factual errors and reminding him that no convention staffer at any time told me not to take pictures. If he stands by any sliver of the complaint he expressed on yesterday's NARN show, I would very much like to hear from him. Everyone at the convention was polite to me.
The convention featured an invited speaker, Lieutenant Colonel [Ret.] Michael Baumann, author of Adjust Fire: Transforming to Win in Iraq. No other speaker addressed Iraq during the convention. Baumann believes the war was a great idea and supports Pres. Bush's open-ended US commitment in that country. The CD3 GOP convention rewarded Michael Baumann with a standing ovation; it seems fair to infer that Baumann's full-speed-ahead view on Iraq is supported by the delegates.
I didn't get a chance to speak with the droning, charisma-free congressional candidate, who spoke in generalities and again promised not to be out-hustled--my personal favorite Paulsenism. Rep. Ramstad spoke with emotion concerning himself and with somewhat less emotion when extolling Erik Paulsen's various virtues. The best pro-Paulsen speech was his daughter Cassie Paulsen's introduction.
Later, at the convention's ostensible dénouement, Ramstad offered an on-stage bear hug to Paulsen. Paulsen responded by expressing a preference for a more symbolic, prissy embrace: By extending his elbow forward, Paulsen maintained his preferred 1-humerus distance from bear-hug-seeking men, reinforcing propriety. Erik Paulsen: A gray Eden Prairie minivan, in human form.
Paulsen is ducking the main issues. He refuses to speak on the topic of Iraq; his issue statements generally are very soft-focus.
Yes, the candidate received a standing ovation, but it was a lifeless standing ovation. Paulsen is running a silent majoritarian campaign of generalities and sound bites; that's why the hall never ignited with any gusto during the entire convention. To picture the emotional tenor prevalent at the CD3 GOP convention, imagine if a DFL state representative had come into the CD3 DFL convention unopposed. In such a situation, the candidate might sense he'd be better off throwing as little red meat to the base as he could get away with, so as to aid his post-convention effort at seizing the moderate middle. Whether such a strategy works or not, it makes for a boring convention.
The delegates appeared to be about two-thirds male, though I was confined to a very small area so it was a bit difficult to tell. If I took two steps in any 'wrong' direction, I had a constant minder ready to bark out a command to assume the position. Weird, I thought, that the CD3 GOP convention's floor-access enforcers--at a private, partisan political event taking place in Bloomington--were identifiable by their City of Edina public safety vests.
[Correction: A sentence misidentifying a member of Minnesotans for Global Warming as a t-shirted Paulsen volunteer was removed, above, after it was brought to my attention that the M4GW fellow wasn't in the Paulsen-volunteer brigade. Mea culpa.)