It’s Contest Time!

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to predict Lori “Unofficial DFL PR Flak” Sturdevant’s Sunday column; it was a gauzy, florid paeon to Margaret Anderson-Kelliher. 

I come not to bury Sturdevant’s column – which was a howler…:

Before the balloting started, [Former state auditor, governor candidate, endorsed Lieutenant-Governor 2006 candidate, and former fair-weather Republican Judi] Dutcher and [former state Senator and two-time goober candidate Becky] Lourey, both now private citizens, predicted that this year would be different — not because it was finally a woman’s turn, but because of Kelliher’s other qualities.

“Margaret is such a candidate in her own right. She is so qualified for this job,” Dutcher exuded.

Lourey added: “There’s an energy here to endorse the person who can win in the general election. That’s Margaret, because of her communication skills.” Not her gender.

…and I certainly don’t come to praise this vapid group hug:

…A ripple of feminist pride added emotional punch to her victory celebration, revved up by Kelliher’s call, “DFLers, are you ready to make history?”

But there was no sense at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center that an upstart girl had defeated the good ol’ boys….

 Noooooo!  Not a bit!…

She won’t be another guy in a gray suit. She’ll stand out, and compel voters to take a closer look.

Former Secretary of State Joan Growe…said Kelliher’s bid to make history should bring her primary and general election support from “Republican women, or former Republican women, and independents…Older women particularly might be drawn to the chance to elect the state’s first female governor… 79-year-old St. Paul delegate Joan Wittman confessed, “It would be a dream to me to elect a woman governor. I’d like to see it in my lifetime.”

The scary part was, though, that I pretty much wrote Sturdevant’s column in my head on Saturday night after I got the word of Kelliher’s nomination.

I could have practically published the whole thing, thought for thought if not word for word!

I knew, after decades of reading Sturdevant’s bald-faced mash notes to the DFL, that there’d be some combination of…:

  • She’s an old pro!
  • But yet a new voice!
  • And an impromptu conclave of strong yet approachable women are spritzing her with concentrated Sisterhood!  Yay!  Sisters are doing it for themselves!
  • In the meantime, the tough woman is going to be facing The Man In The Gray Suit!

And it occurs to me; why not save Sturdevant, the environment, and the body politic the trouble for next weekend, after the GOP endorses its’ guy in a gray suit candidate?

Because I think we’re all familiar enough with Lori Sturdevant’s list of cliches – the gauzy soft focus, Up With People vibe for Democrats, the rote invocations of Republicans past (who happened to vote, spend and act like DFLers), the victorian vapours at the idea that conservatism is making inroads in “her” state – to take the next big step.

I want y’all to write Lori Sturdevant’s next Sunday column.

We know it’ll be a wrapup of the GOP convention; she’ll be beholding the new GOP Gubernatorial nominee the way a new father beholds his baby’s first diaper.  Write the column, or some portion of it, in the comment section.  I’ll be moving this post up through the week to make sure everyone can enter. 

Winners will be announced Saturday night.  The prize?  I will publish the “winning” Sturdevant column before the Strib does, so the winner gets bragging rights, and an eternal place of honor on my Contests page.

Would you want more than that for this kind of prize?

And by all means, reprint this challenge in your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, the Dewdrop Inn, or wherever – and forward any entries you get.

15 thoughts on “It’s Contest Time!

  1. If Emmer wins:

    The Republicans were on a 3-day ideological bender at the Convention Center this weekend, so it was perhaps appropriate that they selected a 2-time DWI offender, Tom Emmer, to carry their unsteady banner against the DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher. In their Tea Party-fueled fervor, it seemed that the GOP lost sight of the optics of nominating a twice-convicted drunk driver in the immediate aftermath of tragedies on Minnesota highways only the week before.

    If Seifert wins:

    If Margaret Anderson Kelliher’s task in the election is to defeat a man who wears a gray suit, she’ll have no trouble making the technicolor contrast with the Republican nominee, the eternally dour Marty Seifert. Kelliher’s opponent will be a familiar foe; she has regularly battled Seifert in the halls of the Legislature, using her can-do spirit and sunny disposition against the naysaying minority leader.

  2. Pingback: Congrats to Lori Sturdevant — Secrets of the City — Minneapolis + St. Paul

  3. Perhaps Lori can write an article about how we can make history by electing a female to congress in the 4th, therefore having two female-Americans representing the metro in congress. I mean, surely Minnesota is mature enough for this.

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  5. “Republican women, or former Republican women, and independents…Older women particularly might be drawn to the chance to elect the state’s first female governor… ”

    Lori needs to give up the glue sniffin!

  6. I should have went up to Duluth. I still wonder what Lori looks like in that DFL cheerleader outfit.

  7. my prediction: The Republican Party proved that they have been taken over by the extreme right-wing teabaggers. They had a choice between someone who actually knows about government and wins in a very liberal area and a kook from Delano. Of course they chose the kook from Delano what would you expect. The Lt.Gov candidate is a member of the Met Council who wanted to get rid of the Lt.Governor position so will she resign if somehow the people of Minnesota send this crazy duo to the Governors Mansion? Somehow the DUI’s of Emmer’s past didn’t seem to matter to the delegates of the teabagger convention though, and I am sure MADD will let everyone know just how bad Emmer is. Can you imagine someone having veto power while drunk? We are not the former Soviet Union. What were the delegates drinking? If Siefert had been nominated I would have been able to throw my support behind him if Kelliher didn’t survive the primary. But now this conservative will support whoever is the DFL nominee after the primary. It is time to send the Democrats back to the Governors mansion, because in fairness they deserve a chance.

  8. Funny how they never QUITE talked about the historic run of another woman like that: Sarah Palin!!!! Heh heh heh…………….

    WONDER why, Mitch!!?

  9. This one begs for some Bulwer-Lytton:

    It was a dark and stormy night in Minneapolis when the Republicans gathered, the city anti-tobacco ordinance thwarting their dark dreams of selecting a grey suit in a smoke filled room. Out of the pall of American flags, anti-choice rhetoric, dangerous concealed firearms, and rejection of the common good came a man who will carry the GOP banner, Mr. XXX XXXXXXX.

    The grey suited candidate wasted no time in slandering colorful Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL nominee, for her stands supporting women’s rights, the responsibility of the prosperous to pay for the common good, and protection of public safety by restricting dangerous weapons in the hands of those not qualified to use them. It was a performance worthy of his convictions for drunken driving and his treatment of his GOP opponent, Mr. XXXXXXXXX.

  10. JW of Minnesota: I trying my best to imitate the smarmy, DFL, potluck type of brownnosing we see Lori get paid to write. BTW- I’ve always enjoyed SITD’s calling her out as what the editorials are.

    On a warm and sunny evening on upscale, progressive Minneapolis, a small handful of right-wing politicos selected their ringleader to succeed Tim P. After hosting the Young Socialists meeting at my ELCA worship center, I decided to hop in the Pruis and swing over to Minneapolis for the Republican convention. What I found was a bunch of grey-suited power-brokers striving to select another grey suit. After several breath-taking rounds of voting, the grey suit driving all the long way from that suburban Delano was selected.

    He’ll mount a fine Minnesota challenge to the recently selected DFL’er Kelliher. Strong on Minnesota dairy farm values, with the right touch of Minneapolis progressive thinking, Kelliher will put up a super-duper fight.

    Calling on an old friend from my reporting days, I spoke with the well-known conservative Arne Carlson. He tells me “Lori, the Republicans keep moving so far to the right, Genghis Khan would blush.” We wholeheartedly agreed the problem grey suit faces is not in his well-spoken, experienced DFL adversity, but with his predecessor. Following Tim Pawlenty won’t be easy. It’s tough, given the millions poor and children who have been forced to live on the street due to Pawlenty only growing the state government in single digits.

    A reputation like that needs a strong-willed woman and community organizer from Minneapolis to move across the lovely Mississippi to make the Governor’s mansion a home.

  11. It’s the GOP’s Turn to Unify:
    Style, not substance, perceived to be the key to victory.

    By MOSTLI IRRELEVANT, special to Speed Gibson

    Last update: May 1, 2010 – 4:37 PM

    MINNEAPOLIS – While the DFL quickly closed ranks behind Margaret Anderson Kelliher last week as their endorsed candidate for Governor, many in the GOP left the Minneapolis Convention Center clearly unhappy – with the choice, the process, or both.

    Kelliher led from the first ballot, but Silas Marner had to come from behind to edge Uriah Heep, finally prevailing on the seventh ballot. It was difficult for the delegates to separate these two ultra-conservatives, the difference according to many delegates being electability.

    “We have to assume that Kelliher will survive the primary, maybe convincingly so with Gaertner dropping out,” said one delegate. “The DFL isn’t going to hop off her love train to embrace a couple of retreads like Dayton or Entenza. I worked hard for Uriah, but we’re going to need some charisma of our own to beat her.”

    Many of the remaining Heep supporters saw it differently. “Once [Mariner] got a small lead, the party leadership pushed hard, really hard, just to get a decision,” said a disillusioned floor walker. “We in the grass roots came here to pick the best candidate.”

    It was a tough choice. They’re both likable, veteran legislators and they’re both committed to deep spending cuts to close the state budget gap. Both are firmly against tax increases. But how do you put a human face on the dramatically reduced state services that requires? That was the ultimate question, and enough delegates eventually found their answer in the more personable Silas Marner.

    Uriah Heep actually has been in the legislature 6 years longer than Kelliher, chairing the Finance Committee until the DFL took control in 2007. Since then he has been the ranking member on Ways and Means, and Minority Whip the past two years. As such, he matches up well against Kelliher’s own impressive record and qualifications.

    But enough Republicans were willing to trade some of that for the affable personality and tireless energy of Silas Mariner. A longtime Redwood Falls business owner, he came out of nowhere to win a 2003 special election to replace Senator Teresa Defarge when she took a job transfer out of state. And he’s been impressing people at the Capitol ever since. Barring a major upset in the DFL primary, he’ll need all of that to overcome Kelliher’s wide respect and support, which by the way includes a number of Republican women. The prospect of the first woman Governor in Minnesota history is not lost on them either, especially those with school age children.

    For it’s one thing to sharpen pencils and affix green eye shades when tackling the state’s short and long term financial shortfalls. It’s quite another to face young parents and explain why their schools will have to cut back even further. Health care, the other big cost driver, will affect almost everyone, and the word will go forth: you’re on your own. Even the gifted orator that is Silas Mariner is already behind in trying to explain how there is a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow of across the board cuts.

    Still, Mariner likes his chances in what will undeniably be a good year for Republicans, certainly at the Federal level. But by that reasoning, Mike Hatch running in a strong Democratic year would be Governor today. We therefore look forward to a spirited, creative campaign as Silas Mariner seeks to extend the GOP’s unbroken 24 year reign in St. Paul against the historic candidacy of Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

    -30-

  12. Lori comes up with this:
    Bob Dylan famously wrote “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” If the Bard of Hibbing and 4th Street had been in the gallery at the Minneapolis Convention Center he might have noticed which direction the tea leaves were blowing when Tom Emmer tried to generate enough wind shear to dispel the anxieties about his checkered personal history. Perhaps those with short memories won’t shudder at the similarities between Emmer and Jesse Ventura, but citizens concerned about the continuation of basic government services in the next biennium will surely sit up and take notice.
    The gray suited Republicans and their ladies in fur probably didn’t notice the tattered looking homeless hugging the curbs of downtown as they pulled up in their limos in front of the Convention Center, but the contrast between the smug and the unlucky was never more obvious.
    How do you choose between a country club attending suburban elitist and neo-populist from the outer exurban ring? Closing your eyes to the plight of those clinging to the safety net that is the only thing between them and sleeping on street grates or under bridges every night.
    As I was pulling my weekly one hour shift ladling soup at a homeless shelter, one of the regulars there, a toothless schizophrenic veteran tugged at my sleeve and gave me one of those looks. The kind that all great journalists expect to see when they feel the weight of the world compress their ASICS jogging shoes. Illuminating the self absorbed snotty Republican world view isn’t pretty, but somebody has to do it!

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