North Star snub: No Minnesotans will grace stage at Republican convention

REUTERS/Rick Wilking
This stage will feature politicians, reality TV stars, and a lot of Trumps, but no Minnesotans.

The list of speakers at this year’s Republican National Convention was released today: 62 names long, it features GOP heavyweights like Speaker Paul Ryan, rising stars like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and six people with the surname Trump.

Beyond that, it’s kind of a weird list: in between the rank-and-file members of Congress, there are also reality TV and soap opera stars, professional fighters, preachers, and one former NFL quarterback.

[Update: On Thursday, the former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, said it was a “rumor” that he would speak, and denied any intention to do so.]

But there’s one thing the list does not have: anyone from Minnesota.

For the first time since 2000, no Minnesota Republican will take the convention stage to address GOP delegates from around the country.

Why might that be? For one, conventions are typically a chance for defeated primary candidates to have a brief moment in the sun, and no Minnesota Republican ran for president this year. At the 2012 convention in Tampa, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty — who mounted a much-hyped but ultimately brief campaign — got a plum, prime-time speaking spot.

Senators are often tapped to speak at conventions, but no Republican represents Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who served from 2003-2009, spoke at the 2004 and 2008 conventions. The 2008 convention, held in St. Paul, was naturally a banner year for Minnesotans at the RNC: Pawlenty, Coleman, and former Rep. Michele Bachmann all spoke.

Though some members of the U.S. House of Representatives will speak this year in Cleveland, the pool of Minnesotans from which to choose was slim. Out of the state’s three Republican members of Congress, only 6th District Rep. Tom Emmer will be in Cleveland for the convention. Reps. Erik Paulsen and John Kline are skipping the gathering this year.

The Republican National Committee said that this list is subject to change, so it is possible, theoretically, that organizers could realize their glaring mistake and a Minnesotan could take the stage in Cleveland.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by charles thompson on 07/14/2016 - 01:03 pm.


    This column could run in the Onion.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/14/2016 - 05:14 pm.


    Hearing that none of them are going to be speaking at Trumpapalooza gives me hope that the Minnesota Republican Party is not completely unhinged.

  3. Submitted by Jim Million on 07/14/2016 - 10:13 pm.


    Considering MN Republican Trump-snubbing chilliness, why would the man ask them?
    (Or, maybe he did…)

  4. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 07/15/2016 - 11:43 am.

    The absent Minnesotan GOPers will be in great company: other prominent Republicans not going to the Cleveland bash are both former Presidents Bush, the two most recent GOP Presidential candidates McCain and Romney, and in fact, most of the prominent and respectable Republicans at state and national levels. Those who really know government know that Donald Trump is not up to it, at all, and won’t be associated with him.

    There will be a kind of “celebrity circus” atmosphere in the Cleveland gathering, including the Big Money sorts that Sam’s report here doesn’t mention, among other folks willing to be branded Trumpists.

    That’s if the GOP can control internal fights in convention committees.

  5. Submitted by Bob Maginnis on 07/15/2016 - 04:28 pm.

    Republicans snub

    After what the crazy Ron Paulites did to us in 2012, I don’t blame them.

  6. Submitted by David LaPorte on 07/17/2016 - 08:12 am.

    Tim Tebow & the Trump Foundation

    Tim Tebow would be a very strange choice as a speaker, considering the Washington Post headline on July 1 “Donald Trump used money donated for charity to buy himself a Tim Tebow-signed football helmet”.

    I’d say that no sane candidate would want to shine a light on that issue, but I’m not sure that sanity is an obstacle for Trump.

    Trump is said to rank amongst the least generous billionaires in the country. He has given nothing to his own charity since 2008. It’s hard to be completely accurate, since Trump is the first presidential candidate in recent history who refuses to release his tax returns, even though he demanded that his VP nominees turn over theirs. His excuse that he’s being audited rings hollow because Richard Nixon released his returns when HE was being audited.

    On this issue (and others), Trump in less transparent than Tricky Dick Nixon.

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