Lori Sturdevant is doing her most important job; trying to spin the DFL’s sows’ ears into silk purposes to buffalo the thin film of metro liberals and outstate oldsters who still believe the media into thinking they’re looking at a silk purse.
Here’s the sow’s ear: the DFL’s endorsed candidate is a superannuated playboy hobby politician who’s been buying elections for his collection for thirty years. His name’s been in peoples’ living rooms – first as a news story (most expensive campaign in Minnesota history), then as a punchline (running like a scared kitten in 2005, leaving 534 other legislators to face the terrorists alone). He just ignored the DFL endorsement, wasted millions of DFL dollars in a fruitless primary, and once again proved the impotence of the DFL endorsement for state office – based purely on his campaign budget and his appeal to outstate oldsters who remember, or mistake him for, his father. Or grandfather.
Behold: Silk Purse!
THE ECONOMY’S BEEN AWFUL for too long. Voters are looking for familiarity and a message of hope. Along comes a candidate for governor who fills that bill, even though he stands apart from his party, and who has special appeal in northern Minnesota.
Sow’s ear: Dayton is to the DFL what Bob Dole was to the national GOP in 1996.
Is it 1982 all over again?
Sow’s ear: There are parallels with 1982, that dim and dismal time in Minnesota history:
Mark Dayton’s narrow DFL primary victory Tuesday was reminiscent of the late Gov. Rudy Perpich’s comeback 28 years ago. Then, Perpich benefited from a well-known name, a title that assured attention — “former Gov.” — and the loyalty of his fellow Iron Rangers. He bested Warren Spannaus, who as a former party chair and attorney general had the DFL machine on his side, much as House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher did this year.
The parallels between Dayton’s campaign to date and Perpich’s are numerous enough to raise suspicion that the “former U.S. Sen.” is consciously following Rudy’s 1982 playbook…Like Perpich, Dayton skirted the DFL establishment without alienating it. Like Perpich, Dayton emphasizes quality public education as the best ticket to a better economy. And like Perpich, Dayton is a quirky but genuine guy whom people easily underestimate.
Silk Purse: There is none.
Well, not if you’re a DFLer. For the rest of us, Speed Gibson works Sturdevant over like Mike Tyson punching out Santino from Project Runway.
Mark Dayton is “Perpichean” she says, even though the Perpich was no ultra-liberal. She’d know that if she’d bothered to read the unsigned lead Editorial on the next page.
Dayton is asking for Minnesota to again make its top personal income tax rate one of the highest in the country. That’s where it ranked 25 years ago — when a DFL governor, Rudy Perpich, pushed hard for its reduction to improve business competitiveness.
As the senior DFL mouthpiece at the Star Tribune, Sturdevant is of course overlooking the biggest similarity between Perpich and Dayton: erratic, inexplicable behavior. Perpich, you may remember, fancied himself a Presidential contender, doing goofy things like dying his hair jet black and changing “Rudy” to “Rudoloph G” Perphich. Dayton’s issues you likely know already, but that’s just “quirky” according to Sturdevant.
And by the way, Dayton does not really emphasize quality education, just more money. Perpich was a true education reformer (Charter Schools, e.g.), and did in fact improve the quality of education for those able to access those options.
When will the Strib cop to the fact that Lori Sturdevant is nothing but a full-time DFL flak in journalists’ clothes?