If you blinked last Monday, you missed Betty McCollum’s “town hall” meeting. Indeed, if you sneezed at the wrong time, you may have missed the part where she or any of her staff called it a “town hall”, themselves.
I had a prior engagement – but Doug Bass attended.
Not that it was easy:
I actually didn’t know it was advertised as a “DFL Town Hall Rally” until I got to the event. But doesn’t the phrase “DFL Town Hall Rally” sound contradictory, oxymoronic? If they said “DFL Rally,” it would be clearly understood as a partisan event. If they said “Town Hall Meeting,” I believe it would be generally understood as a non-partisan event. So the very phrase “DFL Town Hall Rally” sounded odd to me.
As I headed to Macalester, I was thinking to myself “Whose idea was it to have a town hall meeting at 5:30 pm? There are a lot of people who aren’t going to be able to make it.” I then realized that this wasn’t a bug, it was a feature, a mechanism of keeping inconvenient people away from the event.
Doug noticed something I did not; I’ll add emphasis:
When I got to Macalester College, one of Teresa Collett’s volunteers saw me, and we started chatting. He showed me the press release for the event, which was issued on Friday, the traditional day where news goes to be buried. And not just any Friday, mind you, the Friday three days before the event, and the Friday the day before September 11, where the nation’s attention is elsewhere. The only media outlet that covered the event was Minnesota Public Radio, which let the abovementioned “Town Hall Rally” oddity pass without comment.
And this may be the quote of the day:
I thought to myself “This isn’t a Town Hall Meeting, this is a flash mob! A secret, moonless midnight flash mob!”
And the conclusion?
This event was a Potemkin Town Hall meeting, an event created for the purpose of being able to claim that a Town Hall meeting took place. The scheduling, the publicity, the audience made it nothing of the sort. It was a treachery within further treacheries.
Read the whole thing.
So we had the “flash mob”, and we’ll have two more coming up with friendly audiences – a union hall and another.
That’s a lot of “appearances” for Betty McCollum.
Maybe being in a “D+13” district doesn’t feel as secure as it used to…
(And yes, now would be a perfect time to pitch in a few bucks for to Teresa Collett’s campaign. The CD2 leadership hates me when I write this, but you live in the Second, where John Kline is going to win by thirty on a bad day, it’d be cool if you could peel off a buck or two for Teresa, who actually seems to have a shot. And/or for Joel Demos, who’s running the funnest underdog campaign I’ve seen since Harley McClain. And for that matter for Randy Demmer and Chip Cravaack, both of whom have quietly moved into positions to have decent shots against Walz and Oberstar).