This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah delegates to the Republican National Convention have taken over a good portion of one of the nicest hotels in the area, the Sofitel Bloomington Minneapolis. The rooms have a modern flare, come with bathrobes and even mini-bars - which probably won't get touched during this visit.
Some delegates did accept a mango-citrus drink offered at check in - though at least one, GOP 3rd District candidate Jason Chaffetz, asked the hotel clerk its ingredients to make sure it did not include alcohol.
For the record, it was just juice.
Just to be clear
Utah GOP Vice Chairman Todd Weiler led the delegates in the pledge of allegiance Monday morning, and made sure that when the audience got to the point about, "One nation, under God," the latter two words were emphasized by shouting them into the microphone. Just in case, ya know, the Republicans forgot.
Credentials and urine bombs
Utah delegates have been warned to be cautious with their daily credentials after a rumored report that protestors were planning to break into convention hotel rooms in hopes of snagging a pass into the convention hall.
Meanwhile, news spread quickly with the Utahns attending about the possibility that some protestors would be throwing urine-filled containers at delegates trying to enter the Xcel Energy Center. It's dangerous work being a delegate, but someone has to do it.
Vanocur, Decker, same thing
The Utah reporters embedded with the Utah delegation introduced themselves this morning, though KTVX's on-the-scene talent tried to masquerade as another television personality.
"Um, Rod Decker," Chris Vanocur introduced himself as.
No one bought it. Vanocur's not loud enough.
Watching the watchdog
Utah GOP officials are blogging their way through the convention, adding their own thoughts on the proceedings, travel woes and feedback on reporters' stories. Weiler, Party Chairman Stan Lockhart and others are putting their comments up at www.leadershipthatdelivers.com, and critiquing the media's account of the convention. So far, they've just taken on the columnists.
Utah is a landlocked state in the West, but for some reason its Republican delegates ended up near several island delegations in seating at the convention. Utah delegates are wedged between Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam, though, in a silver lining, not too far from the CNN cameras.