Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke. So did U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman. And congressional candidates went before state Republican convention delegates with speeches.
But it was GOP icon Karl Rove who drew the biggest response from delegates in their two-day Rochester convention, that ended with Rove’s pep-talk speech.
President Bush’s long-time adviser, now a Fox News Channel commentator, delivered line after line Republicans love. For instance: "There ought to be a limit on how much government we have."
Rove’s harshest comments were reserved for Barack Obama, expected to be the Democratic presidential candidate. Rove said Obama’s already-announced plans would result in the largest increase in government ever.
The Texan delivered a few Minnesota comments, like telling of the time the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate came up to him at a Washington dinner, announcing: "I’m Al Franken. I hate you and you hate me."
"That is not typical Minnesotan, is it?" Rove asked delegates.
And there was the time when he was with Bush and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. The president told her to "take off those stupid pink gloves."
Rove was hustled out of the Mayo Civic Center under far tighter security than anyone else, including the governor and senator.