Shifting Priorities

There’s an old Soviet-era joke that I remember from when I was a kid.  A Soviet radio station in Minsk was broadcasting a talk show.  The host said “Minsk is the most beautiful city in all of the Soviet Union”.  

A caller rang in, and asked “what do you think of the story that the Americans will be targeting nuclear weapons at all of our biggest, most important cities?”

The host immediately chimed in saying “Smolensk is the most beautiful city on all of the Soviet Union!”.

Two years ago, when the DFL ran former sergeant Steve Sarvi against (retired Marine colonel) John Kline in CD2, and former Marine lawyer Ashwin Madia against Erik Paulsen in CD3, military service was high on the DFL’s list of qualifications.  Very, very high, in fact.

This past year – especially with former Navy fighter pilot Dan Severson running on the GOP slate for Secretary of State, and former Navy helicopter pilot Chip Cravaack running against Jim Oberstar in CD8, that particular meme has disappeared from all DFL chanting.

But I have a hunch it’s going to disappear a lot more:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut finds Blumenthal with just a three-point advantage over Linda McMahon, 48% to 45%. Two weeks ago, he led the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment by 13 percentage points. The New York Times story broke late Monday; the survey was taken Tuesday evening.

Blumenthal is the anointed replacement for Christopher Dodd in Connecticut.  The NYTimes ran a story busting him saying he’d been in Vietnam when he had not.

To be fair, he spent the last years of the Vietnam War in a Marine Reserve unit in DC.

To be even more fair, isn’t that the kind of thing that the left raked George W. Bush and Dan Quayle over for?

Shades Of Things

The below is not a fearless prediction.  Call it a hunch.

If you live in the Second Congressional District, you know John Kline is going to win; if Shelly Madore wins the primary, Kline – even in a bad year, like 2008 – would win by 15 points, conservatively, and this won’t be a bad year for Kline.  If “Powers” survives, it’ll be 30-40 points. 

If you live in the Third, it might be a little closer; Paulsen’s got a tailwind, and had a great freshman term.  DFL-endorsed candidate Jim Meffert is a solid 10 point dog, and I think that’s being nice.

Likewise in the Sixth; Michele Bachmann, who won two squeakers against a full court press from not only the regional left and media (pardon, as always, the  redundancy) but the national ones, during two terrible years for Republicans, is going to win by a comfortable ten points, no matter which victim the DFL nominates.

Of course, the DFL pays it all back in the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth districts were, even when the GOP comes up with a strong candidate (as the Fourth District GOP did in endorsing Teresa Collett this past weekend), the media colludes to make sure that Keith Ellison, Betty “Dissent Is Violence!” McCollum and Jim Oberstar are never held accountable for any of their actions, even if knowing them would convince the overwhelmingly-DFL constituencies to vote otherwise, which seems doubtful at times.

But in the First?  Tim Walz, who ran as a “moderate” DFLer to unseat moderate Republican Gil Gutknecht in 2006, but has spent his entire term in office as Nancy Pelosi’s ultraliberal lapdog, and voted for the Obamacare plan that is pretty sure to gut the health care for most of the First’s residents, and gut-shoot the Mayo Clinic, has got to be vulnerable.  Randy Demmer is a strong candidate who survived a bruising convention (seven ballots last weekend) for the chance to run against Walz. 

So here’s what I’m asking; if you live in the Second, Third or Sixth Districts, it’d be great to run up a huge score on the Dems.  Heck, it’d be great to knock ’em into third-party territory! 

But if you could see your way clear to spare a few bucks to send to the First, to help Demmer overcome his cash deficit, that’d be a great start. 

And if you have  few bucks to spare to help Teresa Collett in the Fourth, and Chip Cravaack in the Eighth

UPDATE:  Yep, I know – Randy Demmer.  I was thinking of another Demmer I knew way back when.  My bad.

Into Oblivion

It’s hard being a Republican in the Fourth District.  The Fourth is one of those places where the DFL could nominate a set of those novelty wind-up chattering teeth and get 55% of the vote; much of the district is first-tier DFL constituencies, government workers and union labor and people who depend on government in one way or another.  To be fair to the wind-up teeth, they’d be better representatives than Betty McCollum…

…but it makes it hard – some might say “mind-numbingly frustrating” – to be a GOP candidate.  I’ve seen excellent candidates get into the race, throw everything they had into it, and walk away happy to have been only 15 points off the pace; in the past few bids, it’s been more like 50. 

Now, I don’t believe in karma – but I do think what goes around comes around.  And just to the south of the Four, the DFL gets a piece of the same medicine.  They endorsed a candidate to run against John Kline.  And the Strib is so underwhelmed that they couldn’t even be bothered to copy-edit the story on the subject.

The lede:

Democrats chose a 45-year-old construction worker to challenge U.S. Rep. John Kline in the 2nd Congressional District.

That’s the lede.  And who is this “45-year-old construction worker?”

Powers, a newcomer to the state’s political scene, defeated former state Rep. Shelley Madore, DFL-Apple Valley, at a Saturday endorsing convention in Chanhassen.



Like, Powers Boothe?   Does the guy have a name?  Or is he like “Prince”, a guy with a one-word name?

That’d be a slick marketing gimmick, really.  Maybe Leslie Davis will try it.  He’s tried everything else. 

But seriously – does he have a first name?  Or a last one, maybe? 

Any hint in the Strib story?

“We plan on making hundreds of phone calls a day…” Powers wrote in blog post celebrating the announcement on his campaign’s home page.


…despite Democratic difficulties at the polls, Powers said the Lakeville congressman can be defeated…Powers will campaign in a GOP-leaning district that has not known Democratic victory in a decade.

Even the Strib’s picture (in the online edition):



You have to go all the way to the story’s last paragraph to learn that Powers’ name is Dan.

Now that’s lonely.