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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Civic Fest

posted by on September 3 at 13:36 PM

The Civic Fest, which is in Minneapolis, is far from the convention site. There’s a mock-up of the Oval Office here, a little chunk of Air Force One… and that’s pretty much it. This is where the convention vendors are all located—the folks selling T-shirts and buttons and mugs and commemorative plates. It’s also the site of the RNC’s Official Convention Gear shop. And this place is freakin’ deserted. Empty. And, man, are the vendors ever pissed.



One vendor in particular—a vendor who wished to remain anonymous—unloaded on me about how poorly sales are going. She sells political schwag “on a bipartisan basis”; she was at the DNC last week and she’s at the RNC this week. And she’s amazed at the difference between the Dems’ convention and the Republicans. In Denver, people were buying up everything she had, the place was packed, “and the Democrats were pumped up and excited,” she says. But here? “They’ll come up and pick over the merchandise and buy one thing, maybe two. And no one seems very jazzed about their candidate.”

“Really,” she said, “this is just pathetic. Pathetic.”

RSS icon Comments



Posted by search & replace | September 3, 2008 1:58 PM

I have a totally off-subject question. McCain/Palin are the new Boris and Natasha.

Posted by Fly-Over Illinois | September 3, 2008 1:59 PM

So pack up and leave. Go to a grocery store and buy some Old Dutch and get the fuck out of there.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 3, 2008 2:01 PM

Nobody wants to buy a defeated army's uniforms.

They strip them off themselves and pretend they never were part of the army instead.

Forty years in the wilderness - this is their fate.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 2:03 PM

They will need huge dumpsters in Minneapolis!

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | September 3, 2008 2:07 PM

You should buy all the "McCain/Palin" shit you can get your hands on. They're gonna be collectibles next week.

Posted by DOUG. | September 3, 2008 2:11 PM

Maybe if they were selling those "Sarah Palin: Abstinence-Only Education DOES Work!" how-to manuals, they'd have more business.

Posted by COMTE | September 3, 2008 2:18 PM

Of course it's deserted. It's mostly a staging area for vendors, and they tried to charge $15 a head to attend, and expected people to feel honored to pay for the privilege. And the visible police presence in both downtowns (MPLS less to than St. Paul at least) is oh so inviting.

Posted by Greg | September 3, 2008 2:18 PM

Actually, that reflects the general spending habits of liberals and conservatives in general. Liberals generally are willing spenders and impulse buyers. Conservatives are more deliberate about their purchase choices.

Posted by Gomez | September 3, 2008 2:27 PM

Those filthy capitalist pigs.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | September 3, 2008 2:32 PM

Oooh, Dan! Pick me up something!

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | September 3, 2008 2:33 PM

Yes, conservatives are "careful with money."

i.e. cheap

That's why they're rich! Duh.

Posted by GK | September 3, 2008 2:33 PM

Maybe we can silkscreen some of John Bailo's Photoshops onto some t-shirts - that should move 'em.

Posted by Ziggity | September 3, 2008 2:43 PM

When will this ludicrous idea that Republicans have anything to do with financial or fiscal probity end? The Republicans are the party of waste and profligacy and deficit spending, and have been for almost thirty years. Sarah Palin turned a surplus in Wasilla into $12 million of debt in just a couple of years, and raised taxes there 33% in the process.

Posted by Fnarf | September 3, 2008 2:47 PM

You know, you can always use them for tie-dye.

Nothing a little dip in the vat won't cure.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 2:55 PM

I was having kind of a bad day and this has given me a HUGE pick me up. Thanks for the thorough investigative reporting Dan! PS I'm dying to know IF you were able to secure a pair of tap shoes and WHAT you are doing with them??!!??!! Consoling the irritated vendors with a tap and a =)????

Posted by dawicksta | September 3, 2008 3:06 PM

With the obvious exception of military spending, I should have added :P

I was referring to their general personal spending habits, rather than how they handle a government's coffers.

Posted by Gomez | September 3, 2008 3:16 PM

from what I saw on the teevee all the repubs are too fucking old to walk over there.
Every shot of the crowd was old white people. . .a few African Americans but only a few.

Posted by irl | September 3, 2008 3:21 PM

All the African Americans were up on the stage, irl.

Not in the audience.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 3:36 PM

Maybe she'd have better luck selling political schwag to the protesters.

Posted by east coaster | September 3, 2008 5:14 PM

I am convinced you didn't make the full circle of the Civic Fest. It has many interesting historical items, did you mention the white house replica that it took 15 years to build, how about all of the old flags that were displayed, there were many interesting things to see if you enjoy any type of presidential history. I think you need to forgot about the vendors and talk about the actual show.

Posted by Stacy | September 3, 2008 7:00 PM

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