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McCollum does slow burn while Coleman heats up crowd

Did Sen. Norm Coleman build the Xcel Energy Center with his bare hands?  In his speech to the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, Coleman did make it sound as if he was pretty much responsible for the arena.

But one person in the audience had a hard time staying in her seat during the senator’s speech.

“Norm was in my office — and in the offices of a lot of people — asking for earmarks (for state funds) to get this building done,” said 4th District Rep. Betty McCollum, who at the time was a state legislator.

“Earmarks” is a dirty word at this convention because it has come to represent wasteful spending.

McCollum, a delegate to last week’s Democratic National Convention, has been interviewed this week on a number of talk radio programs being conducted at the Xcel Center. She appeared on programs across the political spectrum. 

In her view, Sarah Palin’s speech will be the key moment in this convention — and perhaps in this election.

“We’ll hear the most applause, the most enthusiastic cheering of the week when she speaks,” McCollum predicted. “These people want to get excited.”

At this point, McCollum believes Republicans are “more excited about Palin than McCain.” — Doug Grow

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