Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the Republication National Convention host committee, asking me to fill out a survey that would help ensure "that future visitors to Minneapolis Saint Paul have the best possible experience in our cities. A key component to continuing our efforts to become a destination of choice is for us to fully understand the perceptions and experiences of those who visited Minneapolis Saint Paul."
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I don't know if the Democratic National Convention Host Committee is sending a similar survey to out-of-state media who came to Denver last year (it should), but I vividly recall my first impression of life in this city following the DNC. At 4 a.m. the morning after Barack Obama's history-making acceptance speech, I was heading down Speer Boulevard (open for the first time in five days), with Invesco Field off to the left, still lit up like a birthday cake. On the radio, a news report hinted that John McCain was about to make a surprise announcement for his vice-presidential candidate. The circus had already moved on to Minnesota, where the RNC was getting under way, and Denver was left to sweep up the mess.
We didn't know how messy things could get last August. From those days of sky-high hopes, we now face the very down-to-earth realities of a city budget with a $120 million gap, and a state budget with even bigger shortfalls. But it was fun while it lasted.