Working in downtown St. Paul during the RNC has been interesting, to be sure, but it hasn't quite been what I'd hoped. I was looking forward to shooting steely glances at Rick Davis from behind a Snoopy statue, examining climate model displays with James Inhofe at the Science Museum, or throwing dice with Rachel Maddow and Pat Buchanan behind the Dorothy Day Center. Sadly, none of these things have come to pass. I haven't even seen any political or journalistic celebrities. One of my coworkers saw the extremely jowly RFK-California-campaign-manager-turned-PBS-pundit Mark Shields (whoops, fixed link) in the food court downstairs, but I'm not even that lucky. No, the most nationally known individual I've come across, sadly, is this a-hole:
This is Larry Sinclair. He's the serial fabulist who claims he snorted coke and had sex with Barack Obama in a limo in 1999. The best overview about him that I've found is in (or linked from) this post. Apologies for the image quality: I don't have good resizing software at work.
Anyway, he was wandering with his sign (the back of it features Donald Young (no not that one), who Sinclair claims was Obama's lover before being murdered last winter) around Rice Park, where MSNBC has their outdoor stage. He got a call, and told his interlocuter of his intention to walk up and around the State Capital. I was curious to see what the DVD was under his right arm, but I didn't get the opportunity.
I took a long walk at lunch today and snapped pictures of the security, media, decorations, some scattered protesters, and so on. Thanks to Troy for the loan of his camera. I'll get some more pics up here sometime, including, if I can, some I took with my phone en route to my car last night. Yesterday I was thinking I wouldn't take any time off to avoid the RNC this week, but walking across downtown through a 700-person protest surrounded by riot cops, bike cops and horse cops waiting for The Shit to Go Down changed my mind. It was a weird, tense, creepy vibe, and I don't want to be anywhere near downtown St. Paul tomorrow at quitting time.
Update: Coworker Troy nabbed one of the DVDs they were handing out in the park, the one Sinclair was toting. It's this.