Thursday, June 16, 2011

Netroots Nation 11: Day One

Mayor R.T. Rybak
R.T. Rybak, the mayor of Minneapolis, spoke to us tonight last night at a reception hosted by Democratic GAIN. (I meant to post this last night but couldn't get my my wireless to engage. So Austin, the IT guy from Democracy for America, tapped a few keys on my laptop this morning and engaged the wireless. If this clueless blogger can't find help at a "Netroots" conference, where can he find it?) 

Mayor Rybak is a Democrat speaking to a roomful of Democrats at Solera, a four-story tapas place along restaurant row. Maybe 100 or so, some drawn by the free beer and others drawn for the opportunity to be in a roomful of progressives.

I was a little of both. Hey, who can turn down free beer?

The mayor pointed out the facts that Minneapolis was a bike-friendly city, a green city, the best volunteer city in America, a gay-friendly city, a sleep-friendly city. I didn’t quite get that last part. I assume that Minneapolisians (Minneapolitans?) enjoy a good night’s sleep because they live in a diverse and forward-thinking city.

Meanwhile, over at the convention center, the American Association of Sleep Societies is staging its annual gathering. Coincidence?

We Liberals are losing sleep over the state of the nation. That’s just one of the reasons that we are gathering along one side of the Twin Cities. We are bloggers of the progressive stripe and, by gum, we are ticked off about it and need to find ways out of this mess.

And Minnesota is no progressive Garden of Eden. Michelle Bachmann reigns in the north country. A “real hockey mom,” said one Minneapolis elected official who shall remain nameless. “She knows how to cross check.”

This was an obvious dig at Sarah Palin, who’s a fake hockey mom and could only tough out two years of a four-year governor’s term in Alaska. She's a weiner (lower-case) when stacked up against Bachmann.
I’ve been here only seven hours. But already I’ve meet a number of bloggers from all over. I shared a bus seat with Whitney from Boise. There was Kevin from Eugene, Oregon, and Mike from Alaska. Before this is over, I expect to exchanging liberal chatter with bloggers from all 50 states.

One more thing about the mayor: he gave us restaurant recommendations. I look forward at eating at the place that Mary Tyler Moore would have taken Lou Grant for a steak.

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