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GOP convention interest lags

ST. PAUL - Minnesota not as exciting as New York City?

A Politico story says that may be a reason interest in the St. Paul Republican National Convention lags behind past GOP confabs and the Democrats' Denver convention.

"While excitement is building for a Democratic Party convention capped by Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech before a sold-out, 75,000-seat football stadium, the GOP convention the following week is shaping up to be a considerably more staid affair, marked by the conspicuous absence of many of the usual convention attendees," Politico reports.

Many members of Congress apparently are skipping a trip to St. Paul.

While many Washingtonians took a train to New York City in 2004, "St. Paul, by contrast, requires a flight halfway across the country from Washington and, of course, the maddening hassle of air travel. The convention dates aren't great, either, because opening day falls on Labor Day, which for parents marks the beginning of the school year," the political news Web site reports.

"Overall, Republicans have an intensity problem," a Republican lobbyist told Politico. "I have a lot of friends that are just not going that have gone in years past."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.