Tuesday, October 16, 2007 

Walz Challengers On Their Own

Bluestem Prairie catches State Sen. Dick Day, a Republican challenger to Congressman Tim Walz, admitting he expects little help from the NRCC.

This race is rapidly becoming a nightmare for the GOP. Walz would have been tough to beat in any case, but facing a weak crop of poorly funded candidates having little outside help, he will be nearly invulnerable next year. If Walz can't be beaten running for his first re-election, any representative's most perilous, he could be representing southern Minnesota for a long, long time.

Walz beating up on his opponents will free up DFL and DCCC money and energy for the 3rd and 6th districts. Rep. Michele Bachmann and the Republican field in the 3rd would be well-served by finding serious opposition for Walz.

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Monday, October 15, 2007 

Money on the Mind

Bob Collins (of Polinaut) apparently believes that everybody is in Washington to make money, and that policy differences are secondary to that singular goal. Of course, he ignores the fact that many members of Congress could make far more in the private sector than they do in public life.

Speaking of money and public life, McMemo (the Star Tribune's new blog) has a post this morning titled Left's money advantage evident in Minnesota. Aside from the GOP's national money woes due its minority status and the loss of the K Street Project, it's important to note that Republican contributors may be more cautious spending their money in Minnesota than in previous cycles, given the state's dramatic tilt to the left over the past four years. Where party leaders and big-dollar donors may have seen an emerging opportunity in the past, it's now hard to avoid seeing signs that the state is ending its flirtation with the Republican Party. If donors do stay away, Minnesota Republicans may have to fight each other for dollars; Sen. Coleman and Rep. Bachmann may find themselves hard-pressed to keep up with challengers, and the non-incumbents in the 1st and 3rd CDs may be unable to raise enough money to run good campaigns.

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Land of Optimism in the Dumps

The UK Guardian has a striking, must-read piece today on our collective loss of optimism.
America, in short, is in a deep funk. Far from feeling hopeful, it appears fearful of the outside world and despondent about its own future. Not only do most believe tomorrow will be worse than today, they also feel that there is little that can be done about it.
Who should be surprised, after six and a half years of George W. Bush and 12 straight years of a Republican (briefly divided) Congress? The Republicans love to tell us that we can't solve the economic issues that face us, because if the market doesn't take care of it, it can't be done. They love to tell us that we should be scared of the future, because crime will be rampant, God will be banned, the government will take our liberty away, and illegal immigrants will steal America from us. They tell us that we will never be safe, and that around every corner lurk those who want to destroy our way of life.

What does anyone have to look forward to in that world? Yet we, as Democrats, have not presented another vision of the future, one in which we are prosperous, safe, and happy because we have made it so. In 2008 and beyond, we cannot evaluate candidates on policy and issues alone, but rather we must find the leaders who will make us feel that the problems we face are not insurmountable and will inspire us to solve them.

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