So Minneapolis wants the 2012 Democratic National Convention, eh? By all means: yes. It'll be a bother for everyone who works downtown, because security is absurdly tight -- you have to ride face-down through an X-ray machine, and there's a colonoscopy involved -- but it's exciting. Knowing what I do from covering the DNC event in Denver in '08, you can expect:
Celebrities! There was a crowd gathered outside a restaurant, looking up at the second-floor balcony; I asked what the hubbub concerned, and was informed: That is Natalie Portman's back. Really? Really! Eventually she turned around for the Full Portman, too.
That's the sort of random excitement you don't get without conventions. Things we may also see: the elbow of that guy from "Twilight." Celebrities are everywhere. You can make hundreds of people run in front of a light-rail car just by pointing and shouting, "OPRAH!"
Street theatrics: The protesters in St. Paul had to shuffle behind a barrier. In the Mile High City they were free-range, thronging Denver's version of the Nicollet Mall, beating drums and clogging streets, which brought out The Man. Denver had the scariest SWAT teams I'd ever seen -- vans with guys in black leather hanging off the side. They looked like the Rapid Response Bondage Team. We'd probably use something Minnesota Nice like Segways, but if we made the officers dress like Vikings and set their beards on fire, people would disperse.
Bars and restaurants will boom. Five-thousand parched, cranky journalists will put the skankiest dank bar in the black. CNN always takes over a bar and calls it their own, and holds a Larry King Wet-Suspenders contest. It's wild, I tell you.
People would see us in the summer, at our best. They'd spread the word of our wonderful town. Local merchants would rake in millions. And we could cover it here, instead of going somewhere else and having a great time on an expense account --
On second thought, forget it.