March 09, 2005


U of M chief counsel Mark Rotenberg has thrown his hat into the ring for the '06 Senate race:

He is the third Democrat to file papers, although none have said they are running for sure for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mark Dayton in 2006. Rotenberg said in a news release Monday that he'll take several weeks to make that decision.

Rotenberg said he wants to see how his party and the state's residents respond to a "fresh new face among Democrats.''

Rotenberg has served as Minnesota's general counsel since 1992. To date, his political activity has been behind the scenes, such as his 2004 role as a Minnesota leader in Sen. Joe Lieberman's presidential campaign.

For those of you not from Minnesota, here's how it works in the DFL:
  1. A huge gaggle of politicos express their interest, and campaign like mad.
  2. The DFL will closely query each of them as to whether they'll abide by the endorsement process. Some wil so pledge, others will earn the ire of longtime DFL activists by remaining silent.
  3. At the party caucuses and conventions - which are run according to a byzantine system that apportions votes proportionally among special interest sub-caucuses - a nominee emerges; the nominee is usually a long-time party activist with frequently dubious name recognition outside the party. For example, in 2000 the nominee for Senate was Jerry Janezich, a bar owner and painfully inarticulate speaker from Grand Rapids.
  4. Then, the primaries happen - and the DFL candidate with the most money and public recognition (at least, outside the party) wins. In 2000, Mark Dayton crushed the endorsed Janezich.
  5. Frequently, both will go on to the general election.
  6. In most cases (at least for high-profile races), the unendorsed candidate will mop the floor with the endorsed one.
The DFL endorsement, some joke, is the kiss of death, even in a state where the DFL still has a slight electoral edge.

It's not quite a prediction yet, but it's a pattern. And great fun to watch.

Posted by Mitch at March 9, 2005 07:46 AM | TrackBack

At least in the DFL 'the People' have a voice in the process. Isn't that what it is suppose to be about?

Oh wait, nevermind, I forget who I am talking to!


Posted by: Flash at March 9, 2005 09:33 AM

It would go much more quickly if we just had the Vice President tell us who should run for each office.

Posted by: rew at March 9, 2005 11:02 AM

Let's just review the DFLer's who are interested in losing to Kennedy:

Wetterling is a loser, who's great claim-to-fame is she was a rotten mother.

At least Klobachar has actually WON an election, which doesn't say much when you consider she was unopposed in 2002.

A professor/lawyer from the U of M? Oh...please...stop...I'm laughing too hard.

Ciresi the Sleazy tobacco lawyer, who was hand picked by Skippy Humphrey to cash in during the Great Tobacco Wars of the 1990's?

Thanks, DFL. I thought the 2004 Presidential field was a bunch of aliens from the Star Wars cantina scene. Those guys are lucid compared to this field of Senatorial pigs.

Posted by: Realist at March 9, 2005 02:32 PM


I have no problem if you; A. Don't like Patty Wetterling or B. Disagree with her politics.

I disagree with her politics. Fine.

But, "who's great claim-to-fame is she was a rotten mother"?

You may have been attempting humor here, but really, that statement is just down right ugly and outside the bounds of civil discourse.

Posted by: DC at March 9, 2005 02:45 PM

I concur with DC that Realist’s remark about Wetterling being a “rotten mother” was intemperate and Realist should retract and/or rephrase it.

Posted by: Thorley Winston at March 9, 2005 05:13 PM

I choose not to dignify stupidity with a comment.

Although one might remember that Amy Klobuchar beat Cheryl Ramstad Hvaas (Jim Ramstad's little sis) in '98.

At any rate, while Mitch's timeline is slightly skewed (points 5 and 6 are redundant), this is how it usually happens. As I'm fond of noting, no DFL-endorsed nonincumbent has won a statewide race since Paul Wellstone and Mark Dayton did it in 1990.

Call me crazy, but I think that might change this year. While the usual idiots (i.e. Rotenburg) are jumping into the race, I get the feeling that Klobuchar might actually be able to get through both the endorsement process and the primaries.

Rotenburg, for his part, has as much chance of being the Junior Senator from Minnesota as I do.

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