Fortunately for me, after the debacle of my attempt to attend the Patriot Forum on Thursday, I received an invitation to have lunch with Hugh Hewitt and the bloggers of the Northern Alliance. As guests of The Patriot in the Twin Cities, we all met for lunch at Billy's Lighthouse in Long Lake, a terrific restaurant owned by a fan of Hugh's. It was the first chance I'd had to meet most of the Northern Alliance bloggers, as well as Hugh and the Generalissimo, Duane.
I think I can speak for the group (although you can check out their blogs, as I'm sure they'll be posting on this) when I say what a blast we all had. Hugh is every bit as gracious and friendly as you'd imagine from his show and his writing, and funny as well. We all talked about Minnesota, blogging, politics ... I don't remember the last time I had this much fun getting out for a lunch with colleagues. As you'll see in the extended post, Hugh happily posed for pictures. Duane was quite different than I imagined, and with both of us being California natives, we traded a couple of stories about the area and explained California weather and geography to the others at the table.
While I'd met The Elder and RB from Fraters Libertas, I hadn't met Saint Paul or JB Doubtless until today. They're a great group of guys, of course, but the life of the party (besides Hugh) had to be Mitch Berg of A Shot In The Dark, who towered over the rest of us. Hindrocket and Big Trunk from Power Line showed up at the same time as I did, and they were a lot of fun to talk with at the table. Eloise and the Warrior Monk from Spitbull drove quite a ways, I believe, to be there with us, as did King Banaian from SCSU Scholars. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer group of people.
A couple of items to note. First, Hugh had us all predict which states would go for Bush and which would go Democrat in November, and promised to ridicule us all with the results at the appropriate time. I'm certain that if my predictive track record means anything at all, I just doomed the Bush campaign. The second item is that we have big plans for the Northern Alliance. Hugh challenged us to do something special, and we're all pretty enthusiastic. I won't say any more than that at the moment, but stay tuned.
Just click below to see some of the pictures I took of the event. (Thank goodness for digital cameras!) And once more, let me thank Hugh, Billy's Lighthouse, and The Patriot for a wonderful lunch and a great time.