Applauding bipartisan effort

Minnesota politicians deserve praise for their work to acquire 2008 GOP Convention.

Minnesota will commemorate its 150th year as a state in 2008, and the Twin Cities certainly will have reason to celebrate. With the announcement that the Twin Cities will be host to the 2008 Republican National Convention, Minnesota is gearing up for a huge influx of visitors and media attention. Given the economic benefits and national attention, this announcement should be welcomed by Minnesotans of all political persuasions.

Minnesota is not traditionally thought of as a haven for Republicans. Democrats such as Hubert H. Humphrey and Walter Mondale have dominated the political landscape. This history has not dissuaded the Republicans, who are hoping to turn around their somewhat disappointing record in Minnesota.

Regardless of the strategic implications of the selection, the Twin Cities stands to benefit immensely from the convention attendees. It is estimated that 30,000 visitors will be in the Twin Cities. In addition, the media presence will showcase the Twin Cities. Minneapolis has recently completed several projects that will garner attention. A new Guthrie Theater, Central Library and an addition to the Walker Art Center will all be highlighted and will help establish the Twin Cities as a center of culture in the Midwest.

Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the entire process was the bipartisan effort of Republicans Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman, and Democrats Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Although the two Democratic mayors certainly would have preferred to take center stage at their own party’s convention, they recognized the importance of hosting a convention and worked with the Republicans to secure the deal. These sort of collaborative political projects have become scarce as of late, but this state will soon see the benefits of such cooperation.

Minnesota will receive a brilliant opportunity to showcase itself during the 2008 convention, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the bipartisan efforts of state leaders. Unfortunately, it is increasingly rare to see lawmakers working together, and, consequently, Minnesota’s politicians should be lauded for their efforts.