By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
I love New York, and spend most of my work hours there -- but I've never confused it with America, where I currently am. Today in St. Paul -- is one of the most sparkling, beautiful days (speaking meteorologically and without any political bias either way, of course) of the calendar year. Yesterday upon arrival here it was gray, stormy and windy. My mother's longtime adage, "when you see the underside of the leaves, its about to storm," quickly came true, as a big front blew through, and last night's low temperature plunged to 48 degrees. Today it's breezy, sunny and 68 -- and during the exactly 17 minutes I spent outdoors, in a line to go through the Secret Service checkpoint, it was the perfect day. We're back inside the convention center, monitoring the politics of this gathering, preparing to preview tonight's convention agenda, and deciding our coverage for tonight's broadcast.
I've had the good fortune of spending quite a bit of time in St. Paul over the past few years -- and it is a great American city -- it was great to drive by the Fitzgerald Theatre last night (home of Prarie Home Companion) and Mickey's Diner (open 24 hours, filled with convention delegates 24 hours) and when the doorman at the hotel last night asked about my college-age daughter BY NAME -- and how big my son was getting -- I almost fell over dead. You've perhaps heard the expression, "Minnesota Nice." With the usual exceptions, it is true. This is a great place to visit and a great place to live.
One side benefit to being here: you get to see the commercials on both sides of the Al Franken/Norm Coleman Senate race - some are funny, some are rough. It's still...interesting...to see a guy we grew up with watching on SNL running for one of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate. It will be one of the races to watch on election night.
We hope you can join us from here tonight: both for Nightly News and our special hour on the network in prime time.