Wednesday, August 03, 2005 Weekly Report

Interesting article published recently on's weekly report, at It starts with a note about Hatch "officially" entering the gubernatorial race and a rundown of possibilities for Pawlenty's running mate if Molnau decides not to run. Seems like a good resource to keep a regular eye on. Agrees that CAFTA could be a major issue in all the races this year, especially in rural areas. The only issue I have this report is the format--the length of the report causes the middle column to get extremely lengthy. This is a formatting issue with political sites of all stripes, but that's a discussion for another time, and perhaps another blog altogether.

Disclaimer: I'm currently working on Steve Kelley's gubernatorial campaign. This makes me somewhat partisan to his candidacy. I have no issue with Mike Hatch personally or politically, but I think Steve Kelley is the right candidate both to face Tim Pawlenty and lead Minnesota. However, in this context, I'll cover everything I can about all the 2006 Minnesota races as even-handedly as humanly possible.

Now that the general disclaimer's done with, I find myself asking the all-important question--how do we win? How do Democrats up and down the ticket defeat Republicans, take back the Governor's office, Secretary of State, the House of Representatives, and hold onto the Senate and AG's office? Is there one particular issue that DFLers can run on and win? The war in Iraq? Education? Health care? Taxes?

The quick answer is: I don't know yet. However, at the statewide level, I believe there are several things DFL candidates can do as a unit:

1. Speak to the people, not at them. Minnesotans, especially those in rural areas, tend to be fiercely independent, and politicians who talk down to their audience will spin their wheels.

2. In the spirit of Lakoffian analysis, make sure to frame arguments correctly. It doesn't matter if a candidate falls into the strict-father or nuturant-parent model or if they don't agree with either one, what matters is that they frame their arguments in terms the audience will understand.

3. Never, never, never, never, never back down from Republican attacks. When the GOP attack dogs are unleashed, tell it like it is--their job is to smear and lie and obfuscate until the facts don't matter anymore. We are talking about Minnesota's future, and all they can do is attack our candidates and personnel. Let's move on. It's that simple, and moderates and Independents will listen.

In the spirit of Kos's recent Litmus Test for Democrats, notice the lack of ideology in the guidelines above. DFLers have the right ideas, and with experienced staff and smart candidates, we can get the right people into office.

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