On a day that Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman declare the RNC a “great success” (”nothing burned!”), we look back at the best of the RNC, including real-life delegate quotes, police ineptitude, nonsensical signs, and bird porn. Oh, my!
Best example of police ineptitude/confusion: Three riot cops, standing outside of Dorothy Day Center, a homeless shelter surrounded by a fence, ask, “Is this Rice Park?”
Biggest waste of time and money: Riot cops, State Patrol, ATF, and the Secret Service investigating the “tossing of a firecracker” in 7th Street Place on Day 3 of the RNC.
Most ridiculous and unnecessary use of riot cops: At 11th and St. Peter at around 7:30 pm on day 4, people leaving “The Daily Show” and/or trying to get to their cars on the other side of the bridge, the side of St. Paul where cops have detained nearly 400 people, are confronted by about 15 riot cops and members of the SWAT team. One cop jumps on the concrete barrier and points his gun. Two SWAT team members leap on the hood of cars and aim guns filled with tear gas at the onlookers, despite none of them being involved in the protest. The cops don’t speak, issue an order to disperse, nor explain why the onlookers are being threatened. And when asked how they can get to their cars or where they should go, the cops remain mute, and instead follow their movements with gun barrels.
Best example of this election bringing out the “youth” vote: On Thursday, outside of the line for “The Daily Show,” a school bus drives by filled with elementary school children screaming “Obama!” and holding notebook pages scrawled with “Obama” out windows.
Best “protesters”: Members of the “wig” party, coming out to wear wigs in support of “hair piece.”
Best sign spotted outside MSNBC “studio” in Rice Park: “I love being a debt slave.”
Best overheard Day 2, convention-goer edition: Suited dude in line of folks entering River Centre: “She’s too petite. I like ‘em thicker. Makes em bustier.”
Best quote from a street peddler: “Black people used to pick cotton. Now we just sell it. It’s no different.”
Most laughable line from St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington, after police herded peaceful protesters onto a bridge and placed them under arrest: “Nothing burned in downtown St. Paul. No one was injured in downtown St. Paul. It was a very successful day.”
Most laughable line from a local politico, on the RNC: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who paid more attention to the fact that MSNBC and “The Daily Show” were using St. Paul as a backdrop than he did police issues and abuses of civil rights: “(D)emocracy took place in the city of St. Paul on scale that has never taken place before.”
Most locker-room-like chatter overheard from a cop high on power: Gathering in the History Center parking lot after Day 1 and engaging in post-game replays, one cop boasts: “So then I shot him with an impact round, and he just fucking dropped!”
Most repeated overheard line from cops high on power: “I’m so sick of these fuckers,” or variations there of, was uttered by at least three different cops on three different occasions.
Best line uttered from a Texas delegate during a series of delegate interviews by MNIndy on Day 3: “We need to drill. We need to do it now. I like to wake up and turn on my lights in the morning. That’s American.”
Best fake issue subversively being touted to convention-goers, in Rice Park: Bird porn: Those bird watchers are going to hell!
Most ubiquitous protester: Vermin Supreme, offering delegates outside the Xcel Energy Center $1,000 to write in his name for VP, and rallying convention-goers to join him in a John McCain cheer. No one joined. Best line: “For security reasons, you are required to remove your shoes and pants, and get ready to bend over for the next four years.”
Funniest claim scrawled in sidewalk chalk, in giant letters along Wabasha: “The RNC is bunk, eh?”
Best sing-along: “We all live in a fascist police state” to the tune of “Yellow Submarine,” sung on the John Ireland Bridge as cops arrested hundreds of people.
Newest fashion statement: Forearms decorated in Sharpie pens with the phone numbers of lawyers and friends.
Most confusing sign seen during the RNC: It’s so nonsensical it cannot be explained. Something about Obama being A (the) “fake” “flake” “loser.” It’s such a (the) confusing.
Most prominent RNC “look”: Cowboy hats, suits, white hair, and general whiteness.
Funniest claim from mayors R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman: The Republican National Convention was a success, because, among other things: “So far, national and international media exposure has produced more than 8 billion media impressions, the equivalent of a $330 million ad campaign.” Yet they fail to mention that the top Google results for “RNC” include stories about riots, clashes, police overzealousness and abuse, and suppression of media.