mercredi, février 09, 2005

Run Betty Run

This just in…

Mark Dayton, the Senior Senator from Minnesota, a liberal in the tradition of Wellstone, but (frankly) without his obvious passion or charisma, will not seek a second term.

Our take: it’s sad. He’s a good man and a fine Senator. But, it is probably for the best. I think he was vulnerable. For all of his wonderful policies and for all of his quiet leadership, he was not able to inspire his constituents. I like what he says, but in a world where how you say it matters (President Bush excluded), we need a charmer now more than ever.

Last fall, Dayton was the only Senator who closed his office in response to a specific terrorist threat directed toward the U.S. Senate. It was clear that Minnesota Republicans, who saw Dayton as vulnerable anyway, were going to make hey of that issue. So, you take a good man with a need for umpfh, make him easily characterized as part of the fringe (but not give him the unapologetic flair to shrug it off), add an easy red herring issue, and you’ve got trouble, right here in lake city.

But this is Minnesota, friends. We still don’t have a recent Republican elected to state-wide office with out some serious help. Our Governor (perhaps the worst Governor of all time – elevates self over state every time – is so busy running for party pretty boy/lap dog/President, he couldn’t give half a care about little old Minnesota) won without a plurality because he ran against two men who were basically Democrats, two men who split each other’s votes. Norm Coleman (perhaps the worst Senator from Minnesota ever – this is a guy who won’t talk to his constituents in public) won because Wellstone was assassinated…er…died tragically in a plane accident days before the election. Your President got his Texas hiney bruised and shiny when he came here asking for votes.

So, the political climate in Minnesota has not changed much. I think we are still a left leaning state, but just not as much as we used to be. We do need strong liberal/democratic/progressive candidates who can articulate a vision, inspire constituents, and (to reduce it to its basest level) win. Anyone with a liberal vision, who is articulate and passionate, with name recognition and passion – any such person – will beat a republican opponent.

Early on, the staff here at ILIM is backing this fine candidate.