In light of recent media reports fretting over whether the St. Paul Police Department will add enough to its ranks to police the Republican National Convention next month, a story in today’s New York Times is curious: It’s all about Denver, baby.
The lede from the Times:
“Federal and local authorities are girding for huge protests, mammoth traffic tie-ups and civil disturbances at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this month, fearing that the convention will become a magnet for militant protest groups.”
Why, you ask? It’s Obama’s fault, turns out:
“Officials say that what makes Denver different than past conventions is the historic nature of Senator Barack Obama’s nomination, a megawattage event whose global spotlight could draw tens of thousands of demonstrators, including self-described anarchists who the police fear will infiltrate peaceful protest groups to disrupt the weeklong event.”
The Newspaper of Record goes on to note that Obama’s decision to give his acceptance speech at Invesco Field, rather than the Pepsi Center, threw a wrench in things. It also states: “As a result, the Secret Service, the Pentagon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and scores of police departments are moving thousands of agents, analysts, officers and employees to Denver for the Aug. 25-28 convention. They will operate through a complex hierarchy of command centers, steering committees and protocols to respond to disruptions.”
But what about humble, sleepy little St. Paul? What about John McCain?
Aren’t people — especially law enforcement types — all hopped up about them, too?
Well, when it comes to our Capital City, no, apparently. Call it the Couric effect — the CBS anchor finally realized the covention’s not actually in Minneapolis — as the Times give just a cursory mention to St. Paul.
“Similar preparations are under way for the Republican convention in Minnesota,” the story says in its one paragraph devoted to whatever goes on in Minnesota, “but without the harsh glare that, at the moment, seems to be focused on Denver. St. Paul’s 600-member police force will grow nearly sixfold with about 3,000 additional officers arriving from around Minnesota, as well as from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, said Tom Walsh, a spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department.”
(That target number today is 3,500, according to local reports.)
Now, sure, we know we’re no New York: We acknowledge the Minne-apple and all that jazz. But to be overshadowed by Denver? Maybe we’re just a cold Omaha after all.