NPR logo RNC Backstage Pass: Farewell St. Paul

RNC Backstage Pass: Farewell St. Paul

  An attendee of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul sports a decorative button.

An attendee of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul sports a decorative button. Rolando Arrieta, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Rolando Arrieta, NPR

It was a long night and an early morning, and we're trying to get ourselves packed and ready to go.

But before we go ...

Thanks so much to Deborah Amos for sitting in the chair and holding it down while we were in St. Paul. I think she did a great job, don't you? And thanks again to Cheryl Corley, who guest hosted the week before ... and Lynn Neary the week before that.

Taking a step back and looking at John McCain's speech:

Was it too long on biography and too short on policy? Or, did McCain (and I am so sick of this phrase) "do what he needed to do"?

Will both candidates be able to keep the campaign on the issues they and the country all say are most important, which is to stay on fixing corrupt and special interest-dominated political systems, fixing a broken health care system, addressing economic growth at home and threats abroad ... as opposed to who is the bigger patriot, who loves the country more?

Both men say this is about you, not them. But will the blogosphere, and their supporters be able to contain themselves?

More random thoughts:

The protests? Dozens of people have been arrested here over the course of the week. We met one of the parents of one young man who was arrested. He says the police went too far to suppress dissent and arrest people long before their behavior crossed the line.

Hard to know without being there. We spent so much time in the convention hall that, half the time, we never knew what was going on outside until it was all over.

But if you spent any time in and around St. Paul this week, what were your impressions? Did you feel the police went too far, or did the protesters abuse the concept of peaceful protest?

Also, this convention does not seem to have been a big economic boost for the city. The restaurants were not full, the stores did not seem to be crowded — at least not where we were. It was big change from Denver, where the place was hopping with vendors on every corner and a party in every watering hole.

What happened?

Real life did continue.

We came upon a lovely farmer's market here on seventh street — gorgeous tomatoes, flowers, long beans and raspberries. Wish I could bring some home with me.

And, did the conversations heard on TMM about the political conventions these past two weeks serve a useful purpose? Or, is it all just too much hoopla for too little result?

Blog it out.

I'm outta here. As for me, this has been great but I miss my family, my house, my staff.

Please, weather, cooperate so we can get home!

See you Monday.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

"Dozens of people have been arrested here over the course of the week."
"The confrontation capped four days of demonstrations here; in the previous three days, nearly 400 people were arrested. " (LA TIMES, 9/5/08, link below).

Why did reporters so rarely actually go into the streets where to report on the protests and the police violence?,0,3520828.story

Sent by James Owens | 4:33 PM | 9-5-2008

Is it just me, or did NPR purposely omit coverage of the protests, police strong-arm tactics, tear-gas, etc? I saw coverage of this in the Wall Street Journal, but not NPR... why not?

Sent by Bruce Lee (yes, really) | 5:21 PM | 9-5-2008

Sarah Palin says she a Christian. Well it certainly isn't Christian to leave your young children for someone else to rear, while she's all over the country trying to be vice-president. It's apparent that she has some very real problems that need her attention at home...her 17 year old daughter who seems to have needed more of Mom's attentions while Mom was trying to be gov. of Alaska. A husband who appears less than happy being Mr. Mom, and most importantly, a four month old special needs baby. I'm surprise that she's selling out her family and letting John McCain and the Republican party use her to try to get McCain in as President. I'm the mother of a special needs son, and I "KNOW" you can't do it all, something has to take first place. For we "real" Mom's, it's our children and family. Sarah, save yourself, your marriage, and your children, and tell John McCain to get another Patsy.

Sent by Patricia Scott | 12:23 AM | 9-6-2008


Actually, police arrested more than 400 people.,0,3520828.story

Sent by James Owens | 10:46 AM | 9-7-2008

On today's show you asked if our kids schools are more diverse than our was. Absolutely! I am from West Virginia and went to an all white elementary school. My only Black friend was the daughter of the custodian of our church (also all white). It was not until middle school that I had more diverse classrooms. My kids' school is very diverse. My children are Chinese, and their friends are of many different hues and nationalities and we would not have it any other way.

Sent by Marguerite Leishman | 3:07 PM | 9-9-2008

I would like to know why the Media is letting John McCain get a way with not addressing the issue. I hear a lot of noise and verbiage of things to get done, but I do not hear nor see any substance to his speech's. As They say at Wendy's - "We're is the Meat!"

Sent by Dave Roberts | 12:49 PM | 9-14-2008