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Yes, Katie, there is a St. Paul

News item: CBS Evening news anchor Katie Couric apologizes for reporting that the Republican National Convention proceedings will be held in Minneapolis and not St. Paul.

Yes, Katie, there is a St. Paul. It exists as certainly as General Mills and the Mall of America and the 3M Co. exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest shopping pleasures and consumer products.

Alas! How dreary it would be for the Republicans if there were no St. Paul! It would be as dreary as if there were no Minneapolis or Katie Courics. There would be no television viewers then, no Nielsen ratings, no revenue to make tolerable your lavish lifestyle. We should have no enjoyment, except in the Minnesota Twins and Vikings and Timberwolves and North Stars. The eternal mass marketing with which network television fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in St. Paul! You might as well not believe in Wolf Blitzer! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the polling places on Election Day to catch John McCain or Barack Obama, but even if you did not see them coming into the voting booth, what would that prove? Nobody sees Karl Rove these days, but that is no sign that there is no George Bush. The most real things in the world are those that neither Dick Cheney nor Condoleezza Rice can see. Did you ever see Lou Dobbs obsessing on illegal immigrants? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there, stealing our jobs and exploiting our welfare system. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the free benefits that are unseen and unseeable for people from El Salvador and Nicaragua and Mexico.

You tear apart the cheap imported toy made in China and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the most powerful man in Minnesota, nor even the united strength of all the most popular Minnesotans who ever lived, Hubert Humphrey and Charles Lindbergh and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bronko Nagurski and Betty Crocker, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance and Wheaties can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory across the Mississippi River from Minneapolis. Is it all real? Ah. Katie, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding than what John McCain and his running mate, maybe Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty, can do in the White House.

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No St. Paul? Thank God! It lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Katie, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, St. Paul and John McCain will continue to make glad the heart of all Republicans.

Albert Eisele, a former Washington correspondent for the Duluth News-Tribune and St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press, is editor-at-large and founding editor of The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress. This originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

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