Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pawlenty road trip, Part IV

Monday, 12:30 am: Alexandria

Alexandria Republican HQ. (c) North Star Liberty.

Gov. Pawlenty recalled that Douglas County put him over the top for the Republican endorsement at the state convention, and he asked for the county's votes to return him to the governor's office on Tuesday.

Between the adrenalin and a cat nap between every stop, I was able to feel pretty good for the rest of the trip.

Monday, 2:45 am: Willmar

Willmar. (c) North Star Liberty.

Somehow, in the dead of a 34-degree night, the Pawlenty-Molnau team was still going strong, enthusiastic and animated. And somehow, Republican activists were able to turn out a decent crowd (around 20-30) at every stop through the night. A USA Today reporter, in town to cover another story, joined us in the Holiday Inn parking lot to see what all the commotion was about.

Monday, 4:45 am: Buffalo

Buffalo campaign stop. (c) North Star Liberty.

At every stop, the Governor mentions that his Lt. Governor knows what E85 is. This jab at DFL lieutenant governor candidate Judi Dutcher's blanking out at a reporter's E85 question a few days ago is a big hit among the Republican partisans and corn growers on the tour. We wore E85 stickers on our Pawlenty for Governor shirts, and one campaign staffer wore an E85 ball cap.

Molnau exclaims, "4:45 is gettin' up time!" This also resonates well with the rural folks. Everyone recognizes that this all-night bus tour is a little crazy, but the mood is undeniably upbeat and positive.

Sen. Amy Koch (R-Buffalo) was as the microphone to welcome the Pawlenty-Molnau team to Buffalo.

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