Thursday, September 28, 2006

Republican National Convention could help Minnesota see red

The best news for local Republicans about the Republican National Committee's (RNC) announcement that it will hold their 2008 national convention here in the Twin Cities is the potential to greatly energize the Republican Party of Minnesota, from the grassroots up. It will be a chance to show the world that we're not all Paul Wellstone and Al Franken (nor Garrison Keillor and Jesse Ventura), politically.

Besides the hardcore activists elbowing their way onto delegate and alternate lists starting after the midterm elections, the party will need hundreds of volunteers to prepare to receive tens of thousands of out-of-town guests. The state party will need several staff and volunteers just to recruit and schedule the rest of the volunteers.

The RNC will probably have professional event planners do the high-visibility heavy lifting: venues, lodging, catering, transportation, media relations, hospitality tours, security, printed publications, signage. It will be up to the state party to do the grunt work of meeting delegations at the airport, registration, hospitality, VIP services, convention pages, and the like.

With all of the planning and work to be done, the state party will need all hands on deck for the next two years. There will also be some important campaigns to run! With the right leadership, the convention could boost participation at the BPOU level for years. Such a shared experience of late nights, crazy schedules, celebrities, and fleets of TV satellite trucks from around the world converging on the Twin Cities has the potential to energize the base and get out the vote like nothing else — and turn Minnesota (and Wisconsin and Iowa) red in 2008.

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