Note to readers: MinnPost at the GOP convention

Republican officials Thursday unveiled their podium and backdrop for next week's convention.
MinnPost photo by Joe Kimball
Republican officials Thursday unveiled their podium and backdrop for next week’s convention.

2008 Republican National Convention coverage
Stories, posts and briefs by MinnPost’s contributing journalists can be found on this special GOP page.

Now it’s the Republicans’ turn.

Delegates, journalists, lobbyists and prominent political leaders have begun arriving in the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. A small army of MinnPost journalists will be covering and analyzing what they will be saying and doing at Minnesota’s biggest political event of modern times.

And it’s an experienced and savvy bunch of journalists. Together MinnPost’s reporters have written hundreds of stories about the national political conventions and presidential campaigns they have covered over the years.

Doug Grow and Marisa Helms, fresh from reporting on the Democratic convention in Denver, will be back at it in St. Paul, following the state’s Republican leaders and important political news involving Minnesotans. G.R. Anderson Jr. will report on Minnesota’s delegation at the convention, getting their reactions and insights to developments.

In addition, Sharon Schmickle and Steve Berg, veterans of numerous campaigns and conventions, will follow the big themes of this year’s GOP gathering. Albert Eisele, one of the country’s most respected political journalists and an expert on Minnesota politics, will offer analysis and personal insights about what’s going on at Xcel. University of Minnesota political scientist Kathryn Pearson and local political commentators Craig Westover and Blois Olson will also provide analysis.

Convention color
There’s more to a convention than what’s happening on the convention floor, of course.

Cynthia Boyd, Michael Metzger, Dan Haugen and others will keep track of the colorful characters and the sights and sounds of the political gathering. They’ll be reporting on everything from what the evangelical community thinks about convention developments to the socializing and nightlife connected to the event to the economics of the gathering.

John Camp, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling novelist who writes under the pen name John Sandford, will report on the street scene outside the convention hall, along with Schmickle and Christina Capecchi.

With big protests planned, tight security and streets closed to traffic, it promises to be quite a scene. Joe Kimball, who knows St. Paul about as well as any journalist in town, will be reporting on the logistical challenges of keeping a city running smoothly when a big event comes to town.

To give readers a better feel of what’s going on, MinnPost is planning a multimedia approach to its coverage. Broadcast journalists Roxane Battle and videographers Gabriel Cheifetz, Jacob Valento and Steve Date will be providing video reports from the convention. Photojournalists Terry Gydesen and Bill Kelley will capture developments inside and outside Xcel with a daily gallery of photos.

Political thinkers
National political conventions always attract more than just the delegates, and that’s a big part of the convention story.

Some of the nation’s most prominent political experts – academics, pollsters and politicians – will be in the Twin Cities and speaking at forums and seminars around town. MinnPost’s own political deep-thinker, Eric Black, will be attending many of those gatherings and telling readers what he’s learned and found interesting.

Then there’s the media. Some 15,000 journalists from around the world are expected to gather in St. Paul, and MinnPost’s popular media critic David Brauer will be carefully watching that herd. Capecchi will take on an interesting slice of that coverage: How do the national and international media assess and describe Minnesota?  She’ll also follow convention coverage in the blogosphere.

And the GOP convention isn’t the only political gathering in the Twin Cities. Ron Paul and his supporters will be rallying in Minneapolis during the Republican event, and Beth Hawkins will be following what’s going on there – including the unpredictable Jesse Ventura’s scheduled appearance.

Throughout each day of the convention, we’ll be offering comprehensive, compelling coverage of every aspect of this landmark event, and we urge you to stop back often to check for the latest updates and perspective from our experienced team of MinnPost journalists.

Roger Buoen is a MinnPost managing editor. He can reached at rbuoen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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