Delegating Denver #27 of 56: Minnesota

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Total Number of Delegates: 88 Pledged: 72 Unpledged: 16

How to Recognize a Minnesota Delegate: Most Americans' knowledge about Minnesota comes from the movie Fargo, which was written and directed by natives Joel and Ethan Coen. Actress Frances McDormand (real-life wife of Joel) won the 1996 Best Actress Academy Award for her stunning ability to portray character Marge Gunderson's personality trait of "Minnesota Nice." Minnesotans sure seem nice on the outside, but inside they are a lukewarm hot dish of passive-aggressiveness. Their smiles are just disguised resistance to the demands and desires of friends and family. And it's no wonder: 93% of all the people who are born in Minnesota die in Minnesota. They have an entire lifetime for their familiarity to breed contempt. Which also explains why state founders chose the gopher (over the beaver) as the state symbol. Like niceties, gophers are essentially useless, and the farther they burrow down, the more destructive they become. So keep that in mind when encountering the gopher-toothed grins of delegates from Minnesota. Females will tend to wear Isaac Mizrahi for Target blazers, skirts and pants that fit nicely and won't reveal any figure flaws. Males will wear the brightly colored yet long-suffering Zubaz pants with untucked Spam brand luncheon-meat logo T-shirts and leather fanny packs with the pouch in front.

Famous Minnesotans: Land O' Lakes butter babe Minnehaha; Frostbite Falls duo Rocket J. (Rocky) Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose; brawny Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe; tender, flakey Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Doughboy; Peanuts gang Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus Van Pelt; WJM-TV's girl who’s “gonna make it after all," Mary Richards; Golden Girl Rose Nylund; professional wrestling governor Jesse Ventura.

Famous Minnesota Democrats: 38th vice president of the United States Hubert H. Humphrey; 42nd vice president of the United States Walter Mondale; presidential aspirant Paul Wellstone.

Famous Minnesotans With Denver Connections: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jordan Leopold; comedian Josh Blue.

State Nickname: Star of the North, The Gopher State, Land of 10,000 Lakes (official). The Yeah, Sure, Ya Betcha State, The Bread and Butter State, The Crapload of Bad Weather State, The Hot Dish State, Spamlandia (unofficial) Population: 5,167,101 Racial Distribution: 86% white, 4.5% black, 3.5% Asian, 1% Native American, 5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $34,443 Unemployment: 5%


Most Minnesotan Denver Neighborhood: Hilltop

Most Minnesotan Bar: Charlie Brown's 980 Grant Street Our Charlie Brown has been around a lot longer than yours. It's the best place in downtown for blockheads, pigpens and fussbudgets to get their "Good Grief."

Most Minnesotan Restaurant: Great Northern Tavern 8101 East Belleview Avenue This Tavern, near the Minnesota delegates’ hotel, features a Walleye in Phyllo dish that was inspired by the chefs of the old Great Northern Railway that ran from Washington, D.C., to the Twin Cities.

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Best Day Trip: Twin Sisters Peaks

This day trip pays homage to the Minnesotan personality in every detail. It's dull at the start, a challenge in the middle, and spectacular in the end. The hike up Twin Sisters Peaks also honors the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Delegates leaving the Four Points by Sheraton Denver Southeast can get right on Interstate 25 and drive north. At Exit 229, they’ll follow Colorado highway 7 for 41 miles. (This highway is a scenic route through Boulder into the Colorado Rocky Mountains.) The large sign for the turnoff for the Twin Sisters trailhead is located on the east side of the highway; parking is available at the trailhead. Much like a Minnesotan, the hike starts out rather stoically, making its way through a uniform lodgepole-pine forest that rarely varies for the first three miles. However, the elevation change in this distance alone exceeds the entire 1,700-foot difference between thehighest and lowest points in the state of Minnesota. Just beyond, the trail starts a rugged ascension above timberline, where the Twin Sisters start to reveal themselves. Well-worn switchbacks lead to a small rocky saddle between the summits. From here, the west peak (much like Minneapolis) is more accessible and easily reached, while the east peak route (like St. Paul) is less traveled. From either location, the 360-degree views of nearby Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker and the entire Estes Park valley are simply unparalleled. The keen eye can see into the upper reaches of Mill's Moraine in Rocky Mountain National Park to the west and watch the Great Plains fade into the eastern horizon. — Kenny Be

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