John McCaslin

With Hurricane Gustav reduced to a swirling rainmaker, the Republican National Convention is cramming the remainder of its political business into two busy days, concluding with Sen. John McCain accepting his party's nomination for president.

Furthermore, the spotlight can now finally shine on Minnesota's Twin Cities instead of New Orleans and the storm-ravaged Gulf states.

For instance, the Twin Cities took the opportunity to boast Tuesday that Minneapolis and St. Paul were home to several global companies, drawing particular attention to General Mills, 3M, Best Buy and last, but not least, Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen has a Republican Party tie, of sorts: Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is a former employee - as are celebrities Gwen Stefani and Bonnie Hunt and country music superstar Martina McBride.


Ask Kimberly Fletcher, founder and president of Homemakers for America, and she'll say the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate has already made a difference for the Republican ticket in November.

In an opinion piece she sent to Inside the Beltway on Tuesday, the head of the national, nonprofit corporation based in Dayton, Ohio, she makes it clear from the start that "I am not a McCain supporter. Let's air that bit of information right up front. As recently as Friday morning, I would have told you - as I repeatedly informed the McCain campaign - that I didn't think there was anything in the world they could possibly do to get me to vote for that man.

" ... We [homemakers] were scrambling for something - anything we could hold on to, but it just wasn't there. We were left with two options: go to the polls and hold our noses once again or just stay home. It didn't look good for McCain in November. Enter: Sarah Palin."

When she first heard rumors that Mr. McCain was looking to choose a woman, Mrs. Fletcher admits being "more than irritated. Did he really think the women of America are so superficial that simply picking a woman would win our vote? ... I have heard from a lot of women over the last couple of days that have said the very same thing.

"After my initial shock, I ran to the computer to find out who this woman is. To my great surprise, the more I read the more I liked her. This wasn't just a token woman, this was a woman I could relate to. Not only does she espouse my values, she lives them."


In days of circumspection,
We made no "love connection":
The girls said no
And off we'd go,
Relieved at our rejection.
- F.R. Duplantier


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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