The Mall of America is not only looking to draw Republican National Convention delegates to its 520-plus stores by promising abundant sales, it's also issuing a challenge--can you prove your mental mettle against the city's elementary school kids?
In the spirit of the popular Fox television program Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? on Wednesday, September 3, at 10 a.m. the Mall will be sponsoring a game show between delegates and fifth-graders from the Bloomington School District. Even though it's the first week of school in the city, Mall spokesman Dan Jasper said the district was more than happy to participate, realizing the great civic and historical opportunity for the children.
The event will feature questions on American history and politics. Go see if you can match wits with 10-year-olds who weren't even alive during the 1996 Clinton-Dole presidential race. --Jessica Taylor
So you're visiting Minnesota for a few days. It's best to know some of the local lingo so you can understand the natives. A common greeting: "E-yellow." You might also hear "mmmbye" when someone takes leave. If the cab driver tells you it will cost "ahhunnerd" dollars to get to your hotel, you might want to take the bus. If a young lady offers to show you "boyce" a nice time, check with your wife first--she'll say no. Your breakfast toast will likely come with "budder," and if you don't have a credit card, you'll be paying "caish." Learn these expressions and your stay in the Land of Lakes will be "pretnear" perfect. --Randy Barrett
Psst! Legendary Democratic political prankster Dick Tuck--whose antics drove Richard Nixon batty for two decades--says that he'll be at the Republican convention this year. He's been heckling GOP convention-goers every year since 1968, publishing satire, self-promoting, and hanging out at nearby bars. "I have a reservation in the men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport," the octogenarian tells us ... Look for yet another anti-Obama screed on September 9. The Audacity of Deceit by Brad O'Leary, a direct-mail maven and major fundraiser for the National Rifle Association, will have a first printing of about 200,000 copies and is being published by the right-leaning WorldNetDaily Books. To promote the book, which he wrote in a mere six weeks, O'Leary is expected to spend a few days doing talk radio at the Republican convention. We hear that O'Leary is hoping to get the NRA and other conservative groups to push it with their members--either by downloading chapters that appeal to them, or buying copies in bulk ... And now this from the Minneapolis alternative weekly, City Pages: How do you know that the GOP is coming to the Twin Cities? All the barbershop quartets are booked, and the number of hotel-room Bibles doubles ...
45,000 Anticipated number of attendees at the Republican National Convention --Republican National Convention Committee
$18 to $20 Cost of a cab ride from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the Xcel Energy Center --Airport Yellow Taxi
This article appears in the August 30, 2008, edition of National Journal Magazine.