Total Number of Delegates: 21 Pledged: 13 Unpledged: 8
How to Recognize a North Dakota Delegate: After the original building burned to the ground on December 28, 1930, North Dakota’s new state capitol was designed to soar to nineteen stories and contain enough office space to accommodate growth for years to come. Since that time, the population of the state has actually decreased, yet state government has expanded beyond the nineteen floors and into four additional state buildings and rented offices throughout Bismarck. Fewer citizens means more government. But North Dakota is filled with such contradictions. For example, the state is home to the International Peace Garden, but the park is surrounded by 150 Minuteman nuclear-missile silos. And the state's two United States senators and governor are all members of the Democratic Non-Partisan League Party, which was actually founded by Republican farmers as a means to end the abuses of corporate middlemen. So to find a North Dakotan at the 2008 Democratic Convention, just look for the walking contradictions among fellow delegates. Look for females wearing "Fighting Sioux" hockey jerseys laden with pins and ribbons that call for an end to the war and a Free Tibet. Male NoDaks will be dressed as if they are going camping or rebuilding a transmission but will be talking about their favorite episodes of the last five seasons of America's Next Top Model.
Famous North Dakotans: Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery pathfinder Sacagawea; Western writer Louis L'Amour; journalists Eric Sevareid and Jodie Rave Lee; bluesman Jonny Lang; country crooner Lynn Anderson; champagne music-maker Lawrence Welk; Pop artist James Rosenquist; 23rd United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Armey; 40th North Dakota governor and current United States Secretary of Agriculture Edward Thomas Schafer; father of Edward Thomas Schafer and Mr. Bubble® bath soap inventor Harold Schafer; America's Next Top Models Nicole Linkletter and CariDee English.
Famous North Dakota Democrats: 63rd United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher; 10th governor and 24th Treasurer of the United States John Burke; 19th governor Thomas H. Moodie, who was removed from office after five weeks for non-compliance of residency requirements; senators Quentin Burdick, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan.
Famous North Dakotans With Denver Connections: Renegade art-museum mooch Clyfford Still; Boulder printmaker Bud Shark; Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend filmmaker Ronnie Cramer.
State Nickname: The Peace Garden State, The Roughrider State, The Flickertail State (official); NoDak, Dakistan, Windiapolis, North Dakotasota, Margo's Forehead (unofficial). Population: 635,867 Racial Distribution: 91% white, 1% black, 5% Native American, 1% Asian, 2% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $33,034 Unemployment: 2%
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE NORTH DAKOTA DELEGATION
Most North Dakotan Denver Neighborhood: West Highland
Most North Dakotan Bar: Atomic Cowboy 3237 East Colfax Avenue The Denver bar with enough kitsch to allow NoDaks to celebrate their yesterdays and enough space for their small dreams of the boom times ahead.
Most North Dakotan Restaurant: Cafe Berlin 323 14th Street This is where the locals who crave Kohlrouladen and Kartoffelpuffer go to say "Ich bin ein Bismarcker!"
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SHOW ME HOW
Best Day Trip: Arrowhead Golf Club Culture Jamming was virtually invented in the spring of 1969, when a flash mob of North Dakota college students descended on the small farm community of Zap (population 213) for the "Zip to Zap." It was intended as a spring-break diversion, but the party ended when the 2,500 students emptied the booze from the town's two taverns and looted the single grocery store for snacks. It's the only time that the National Guard has ever been called to put down a riot in the Peace Garden State. Today peace reigns, predominantly due to the complete disappearance of the protest-prone eighteen-to-forty-year-old demographic. At graduation, nearly all NoDaks move to Minneapolis to find themselves. When they return home, their love of protest apparently gets replaced with the love of raising kids, going to church and playing golf. North Dakota claims that it has more golf courses (and churches) per capita than any other state. But North Dakota doesn't have Arrowhead Golf Club, which is like golf and church combined. A summer weekend tee time is going to cost about $200, give or take an ice-cold beer, and a reservation must be made thirty days in advance (www.arrowheadcolorado.com). But do it: This is the proverbial "Holy in one!" From the Doubletree Stapleton, take Quebec Street north to I-70 eastbound, then take I-225 south to I-25 south and exit onto Colorado 470 westbound. Exit onto Santa Fe Drive and turn left, then go south for four miles and turn right on Titan Road. This road will head west, toward the mountains. A bend will change the road’s direction and name, which becomes Rampart Range Road. Take the fifth left, and you’re at Arrowhead Golf Club. Don't worry about finding the place: North Dakotans are drawn to this spot like wise men to a manger. A halo practically hovers above the red sandstone monoliths that burst from the lime-green lawns. Just don't dawdle. We’ve all seen what happens when NoDaks decide to linger. -- Kenny Be