Delegating Denver #29 of 56: Missouri

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

How to Recognize a Missouri Delegate: One explanation of how Missouri became known as the "Show Me" State claims that the nickname originated as a derogatory slur in Colorado. Untrained "scabs," brought in from Joplin, Missouri, to break a miners' strike, were so unfamiliar with Colorado mining practices that Leadville pit bosses continually had to show them how to do their work. It's not that Missourians are stupid; they just love to see people put on a good show! And the more dramatic and sentimental the performance, the better. After all, Missouri is the home of show-crazy Branson, with its 100 daily live music jamborees and country jubilees. In addition, Hallmark Cards, Russell Stover Chocolates and Precious Moments are the homegrown companies that Americans turn to when they feel pressured by their loved ones to "show me" some love. At the 2008 Democratic Convention, Missourians will be the most sentimental delegates, instantly recognized for their enthusiasm to sing along with street musicians and volunteer for hay rides and hoedowns. Delegates will be dressed for action in sportswear from Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops — females in Natural Reflections moleskin tops and Leah belted pants, males in Bob Timberlake Buckskin twill shirts and RedHead weathered chinos.

Famous Missourians: Agriculturalist George Washington Carver; artists Thomas Hart Benton and Sam (Precious Moments) Butcher; authors Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs and Maya Angelou; musicians Scott Joplin, Josephine Baker, Chuck Berry, Sheryl Crow and Eminem; macabre actors Vincent Price and Linda Blair; comedians Redd Foxx and David Koechner; conservative shills Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly; TV personalities Walter Cronkite and Dick Van Dyke.

Famous Missouri Democrats: 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman; 22nd Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Dick Gebhardt; the Carnahan clan: 51st Missouri governor and father Mel, senator and mother Jean, congressman and son Russ, secretary of state and daughter Robin.

Famous Missourians With Denver Connections: 1882 Denver Tribune editor and kid-lit superstar Eugene Field; the Unsinkable Molly Brown; Gunsmoke star and Ridgway recycled-residence recluse Dennis Weaver; 1982 East High School graduate Don Cheadle; Pepsi Center owner E. Stanley Kroenke; Custom Corned Beef king John Jewsbury; Potager wonder chef Teri Rippeto; 9News meteorologist Becky Ditchfield; 9News Colorado and Company co-host Mark McIntosh.

State Nickname: The Show Me State (official); Gateway to the West, The Old Lead Belt, Spelunker's Paradise, Pennsylvania of the West, The Puke State (unofficial). Population: 5,704,484 Racial Distribution: 83% white, 11% black, 1% Asian, 5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $29,342 Unemployment: 5.8%

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Sean Cronin