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."
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.
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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.