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Friday, July 28, 2006

Why I support Amy Klobuchar

The Wege (AKA Mark Gisleson) left a fairly long comment at my post on Ford Bell. It was a bit more negative than I expected, because I really don't think I insulted Ford Bell or any of his supporters. If so, that's certainly not what I intended.

He says that he has never heard from anybody why they support Amy Klobuchar. Okay, here's why I support her: she's a strong Democrat. She generally has the right positions on the issues I care about. She has been very involved in building up the Democratic party, and every time I have seen her she has been extremely enthusiastic. She is engaging and a tough speaker. I feel that she connects with people. I think she will be a perfectly fine debater against Kennedy.

Ford Bell ran an issues campaign: that much is true. But I am tired of Democrats running issues campaigns because they never win. When was the last time a Democrat won a major statewide office on the strength of their values instead of the strength of their character? I can't remember the last time that has happened. Has it ever happened?

I saw Ford Bell speak several times, and never did he inspire me. Never did he make proud to be a Democrat. And that is despite the fact that I agree more with him on Iraq and universal health can than Klobuchar. Agreeing with somebody on the issues isn't enough, however. Maybe 10-20% of the electorate would pull the lever for Bell simply on those two issues. For the rest of them, they need to feel a personal connection. Ford Bell just didn't transmit that, for better or worse. Plus, to tell you the truth I never saw Ford Bell at DFL events before he announced his candidacy. That made a small bit of difference.

I understand why a lot of Ford Bell's supporters thought so highly of him. I certainly do not begrudge them their efforts, nor am I trying to "rub it in" after winning. This wasn't my race; sure, I supported Klobuchar but I wasn't even a delegate to the state convention. Had Ford Bell won then I would have been just fine with that.

Is the state DFL screwed up? You bet it is. Was Ann Wynia a joke? I don't think anybody believes otherwise. Mark Dayton didn't win his race so much as Rod Grams lost it. Roger Moe was a disaster, a party tool that I wouldn't have voted for had I no other choice. Klobuchar is not in the league with any of these people. The reason that the DFL party is a mess has less to do with Klobuchar and more to do with the fact that they are unorganized and they can't motivate volunteers for anything.

So believe me, I do not mean to insult Ford Bell or his supporters. I don't disagree with his issues. I don't disagree with his supporters, or his methods (though I do wonder why he decided not to seek the endorsement; tactically, that seems like a very poor decision). I just don't think that a non-charismatic candidate can run solely on the issues and expect to win in this political climate. It has nothing to do with the DSCC, nothing to do with the DFL party, and everything to do with how voters make their voting decisions.

Finally, can somebody actually clue me in as to what Chuck Schumer did to favor Amy Klobuchar? I seriously don't know. If it was some huge deal that screwed over Bell, then it wasn't well publicized.

4 Comments:

At 1:44 PM, July 29, 2006, Anonymous Mark Gisleson said...

"Okay, here's why I support her: she's a strong Democrat. She generally has the right positions on the issues I care about. She has been very involved in building up the Democratic party, and every time I have seen her she has been extremely enthusiastic. She is engaging and a tough speaker. I feel that she connects with people. I think she will be a perfectly fine debater against Kennedy."

However pissy I may be about this stuff, your endorsement of Amy fails to specify any issues. When you say that you agree with Amy, I would counter by saying that it would be hard to disagree about any issue with Amy because she almost never goes into detail, preferring instead to give examples of how bad things are without offering specific solutions. [Exceptions to that to be sure, but again, none that are ever cited by her supporters.]

All of Amy's supporters say they agree with her on the issues, but they never seem to mention any of them?!

As for Schumer, NONE of that stuff will every be in a newspaper. That's why they call it backroom politics.

But I appreciate the tone of this post vastly more than the one where you called my candidate "nutty."

 
At 1:46 PM, July 29, 2006, Anonymous Mark Gisleson said...

And again, my quibbles aren't with Amy Klobuchar, but with her campaign strategy of not speaking out on the issues.

If Democrats refuse to educate the voters, the voters will continue to vote for the liars on the other side.

 
At 8:33 PM, July 30, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

I think the big Democrat next to Amy's name gives us all a very good idea of where she stands on issues.

 
At 9:44 PM, July 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy is going to do fine... the real idiocy is being championed by Mark Kennedy.

President Bush hand picked Mark Kennedy to run as Senator... he needs a lapdog to go with Coleman from the Great State of Minnesota. Kennedy is running a stealth campaign using out of state money, out of state consultants and out of state thinking... and treating us like we don't read a newspaper.

You won’t hear how Mark Kennedy stands on the issues in his ads, so I thought I would look into where he stands to see if he represents Minnesota well… I went to vote-smart.org, which is a nonpartisan information-gathering site…

You can always tell where a poltician stands by who agrees with him and who disagrees with him… I was amazed at who thinks he doesn’t do a very good job of representing their interests…

“Representative Kennedy supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

Representative Kennedy supported the interests of the Alliance for Retired Americans 0 percent in 2005.

Representative Kennedy supported the interests of the Children's Defense Fund 11 percent in 2005.

(That’s an improvement over 2003-2004. He supported the interests of the Children's Defense Fund 0 percent in 2003-2004. What does he have against kids?)

2005 Representative Kennedy supported the interests of the National Education Association 0 percent in 2005.

(No improvement over 2003-2004. Representative Kennedy supported the interests of the National Parent Teacher Association 0 percent in 2003-2004. I guess he doesn’t like the PTA.)

It does seem that Representative Kennedy sort of like pets… at least more than Disabled Veterans… He supported the interests of the The Humane Society of the United States 50 percent in 2005.

He doesn’t represent Minnesotans at all when he gets to Washington! Weird how he doesn’t want to tell Minnesotans where he stands in his ads, won’t even say he’s a Republican.

 

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