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Sunday, June 11, 2006 

Convention Surprise

The big surprise so far at the convention seems to be that there has been no big surprise so far. Amy Klobuchar was easily endorsed yesterday, now that Ford Bell is in for the primary and out of the endorsement contest. Mike Hatch, the front-runner for the entire campaign so far, won the gubernatorial contest, though he will face a significant primary challenge from Sen. Becky Lourey, who finished last at the convention.

The choice in the Senatorial race is clear. Ford Bell, in dropping out of the endorsement and choosing to run in the primary, revealed himself as a masochistic political rookie. Instead of losing in front of the DFL convention, he'll be losing in front of the entire state of Minnesota in the primary. Amy should be able to turn her focus to the general election, because that's what's really important. Unfortunately, due to Bell's self-indulgence and -promotion, she'll have to watch her back until September.

The same is true for Hatch and Sen. Lourey. Rather than being able to focus on Tim Pawlenty, an uphill battle if there ever were one, Hatch will have to watch out for Lourey; this is especially true because Lourey, unlike Bell, will probably be a strong enough primary challenger that Hatch will be unable to ignore her.

On the whole, it looks like the convention has gone off well so far. That's what we need; a botched convention would have been a bad sign - and a bad aftertaste - for the rest of the election season.

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See, this is why I'm fed up with the Democratic party.

They spend 3 years talking about how horrible the Republican is. Then, when the election rolls around, most Dems take every opportunity to bash the candidates who are the least similar to that Republican, and choose the candidate who is the most similar to the Republican.

Then, they complain about what an uphill battle it will be to win.

With all due respect for our shared frustration right now - calling either Hatch or Klobuchar the candidate most similar to the Republican is a gross over-simplification.

We are in agreement there. Both candidates have a progressive vision, even if they're not the candidate you think is perfect.

Besides, Brian, Hatch and Klobuchar have a strong chance to win. It is useless to pick a candidate we all just love to see him or her trounced by the electorate. It will happen, too; from what I know, you're a liberal, and while that's certainly not a bad thing, most of the country and even most of the Democratic party doesn't agree with you. Compromise isn't optional in politics.

MNCR - what I meant was that among the Democrats, Hatch (as compared to Lourey and Kelley) and Klobuchar (as compared to Bell) are the closest to the middle (and ergo the closest to Republicans as well).

I would quibble with saying I'm merely "liberal," but close enough. :-) And I truly think a lot more people in this country are actually liberals - it's just that people haven't bothered to tell them so in a positive way.

But BJ - You're saying that people might consider themselves more liberal if they were told so in a positive way - that's their self-perception. But you also say that Hatch and Klobuchar are "closer" to the Republicans...isn't that also merely perception? Words like "left" and "right" and "liberal" and "conservative" are dividers that really mean nothing more than how a voter or candidate is perceived.

Kelley and Lourey were perceived as being somewhere different on that "left to right" political scale, when in reality there's very little difference between their positions, and only a little bit more between them and Mike Hatch. And there's a HUGE gulf between all three and Tim Pawlenty. The same can be said about Bell/Klobuchar and Kennedy. It's the perception of moderation by the GENERAL electorate that's important.

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