Delegating Denver #18 of 56: Indiana

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Total Number of Delegates: 79 Pledged: 66 Unpledged: 13

How to Recognize an Indiana Delegate: The origin of the term "Hoosiers" is uncertain. Many of the definitions for the term are synonymous with "simpleton." But Indianans are anything but simple; in fact, to most Americans, Hoosiers are incomprehensibly complex. How did these two opposing concepts get crossed? Well, for starters, Indiana calls itself "The Crossroads of America." In this country, crossroads are typically reserved for the building of churches or truck stops, depending on whether the nearby residents want salvation or sin. Indianans have built both, which explains why the state boasts the largest number of the nation's conservative religious and social organizations while simultaneously serving as home to the Kinsey Institute for Sex and Gender. Similarly, Indiana delegates will exude an overwhelming presence of "vanilla" but will give themselves away with socially awkward comments. Dead giveaways for identifying Hoosiers: delegates wearing St. John's Bay Career Sportswear Casuals who excitedly ask about other state delegations' sleeping arrangements while nervously perusing their lunch menus.

Famous Indianans: Socially awkward TV talk-show host David Letterman; socially awkward musicians John (Cougar) Mellencamp, David Lee Roth and Axl Rose, plus Janet, Michael, LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Randy, Jackie and Marlon Jackson; socially awkward actors James Dean, Jo Anne Worley, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Fraser and Shelley Long; socially awkward vice-presidents Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle; pill producer Colonel Eli Lilly; chicken fryer Colonel Sanders; popcorn popper Orville Redenbacher; and art popper Robert Indiana.

Famous Indiana Democrats: Former Senator Birch Bayh; former governor and current senator Evan Bayh; and 7th District Representative Julia Carson.

Famous Indianans With Denver Connections: Cripple Creek gold baron Winfield Scott Stratton; Denver Broncos unproven hopeful quarterback Jay Cutler; Colorado Rockies pitcher LaTroy Hawkins; Rockmont Ranchwear founder Jack Weil; denied lesbian bride Sheila Schroeder; and demented thespian (KWGN) reporter Chris Parente.

State Nickname: The Hoosier State, the Crossroads of America, Mother of Vice Presidents (official); the Cracker State, the Redneck State, America's Truck Stop (unofficial) Population: 6,313,520 Racial Distribution: 86.5% white, 8% black, 1.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 4% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $28,783 Unemployment: 5.1%


Most Indianan Denver Neighborhood: South Park Hill

Most Indianan Bar: Vinyl 1082 Broadway This incomprehensible (entertainment) complex provides Indianans with three floors of social awkwardness and a rooftop patio to be on top of it all.

Most Indianan Restaurant: Goodfriends 3100 East Colfax Denver's most conservative cuisine served up on the city's most notorious crossroad, named for the U.S. Representative, Speaker of the House and 17th vice president of the United States Schuyler Colfax.

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Best Day Trip: Victor Despite their wide array of eccentricities, the one thing that all Indianans share is the conservative belief in the Golden Rule. They are the Americans who are the most willing to share the bounty of their earthly pleasures with the less fortunate. America's finest example of Hoosier hospitality can be found near Victor, in the Cripple Creek Gold district some fifty miles west of Colorado Springs, off U.S. Highway 24. This is where Jeffersonville, Indiana, native Winfield Scott Stratton struck gold on July 4, 1891. His Independence Mine made him very rich — and incomprehensibly generous. Examples of his charity include buying delivery bikes for every washerwoman, whole trolley systems for Colorado towns, and homes for the needy. He gave away nearly all of his fortune. And as much as he liked to help people, the socially awkward millionaire preferred his solitude. There's plenty of that in Victor today. Most of the Independence Mine was hauled away for scrap metal in 1928, and the site of the mine and mill were off-limits to law-abiding citizens until 2005, when it was opened as part of an interpretive hiking trail. Indianans can access the trail from downtown Victor. Maps and information about the Indianan heart of gold, in the heart of Colorado, can be found at the Lowell Thomas Museum as well as Victor City Hall.

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