Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Hutchinson and Pawlenty...sitting in a tree?

[UPDATE]: per the comments on this post - my bad. I went a bit overboard. Hutchinson is no Republican, but he still won't do his platform, his ideas, or his supporters any favors by staying in the race till the end.

If you don't already read Always Right, Usually Correct, my opinion is that you should - Tony and Jon are principled conservatives, and are not above engaging in constructive debate with those of us with whom they might not agree on many issues. That's the kind of debate that actually gets things done in politics.

Anyway, they have a piece right now on Peter Hutchinson advising Tim Pawlenty on his upcoming State of the State address. An excerpt of an excerpt:
Don't give us a list of all the ways Minnesota is No. 1. You have been doing this a lot. Granted, it is good news. But it makes people think that you are trying to gloss over our challenges and that you don't understand why so many Minnesotans are anxious about the future...

Don't explain the difference between a tax and a fee. People have heard it -- they don't believe it. They know the price of government has been rising since you took office...
-Hutchinson to Pawlenty
Let me get this straight. Whether Pawlenty takes this advice or not, Peter Hutchinson, a candidate for Governor (ostensibly) on the Independence Party ticket, is offering advice on how to improve a speech which, for all intents and purposes, is a political agenda-setter?

Let me phrase it another way: You claim to want Pawlenty's job, and claim not to be in the race for the sake of screwing over the DFL candidate, and offer Tim Pawlenty advice on how to sound better? Run on the Republican ticket with Pawlenty and get it over with!

Someone please explain what I'm missing here. I have a feeling I won't like the answers I get, and another feeling that a ballistic rant on Peter Hutchinson's political motivations is in order.

Blogger mike said:
Unlike Democrats it seems to me us in the Independence party don't root for those currently in power to fail.

If you really think Peter Hutchinson is a pro Pawlenty Republican you have to ask yourself why Peter has joined the ranks of the Democrats complaining about the governors nothing of a radio show.

The purpose of that article was to take a few jabs at our flawed governor. Much like partisan Republicans you see him as a member of the oppisition party.

Thats a good sign as it indicates he is exactly where he should be. The last thing I would want is for partisan Democrats to say you know what Peter Hutchinson is the man for the job we should endorse him, as that would be a clear indication he is not the man for the job.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Peter Hutchinson brings his own base to the gubernatorial race, since, with all due respect, the Independence Party doesn't have a large one of its own. That base, if it gets 8-10% of the final vote, will only spell disaster for one party. His line about there being more independents than Dems or Reps in Minnesota is crap, since it leaves out the reality that most independents *usually* vote one way or the other.

While I understand that it may have been a joke, it wasn't a good one.
Blogger mike said:
The base of the Independence party is somewhere around 10% for everything but US Senate. Peter brings with his own impressive crowd.

To write him off is a spoiler is to not have been paying attention.

While he comes in with no political status he comes into this race the same as Jesse Ventura, only difference is Peter has relized he can win from day one and is going at it with the mindset that he can accomplish any goal he sets.

I think next Tuesday you will have a much more clear indication of what is really going on.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Well, I don't think Becky has much of a chance, so there :)

I'm willing to admit I went overboard with this one against Hutchinson. My bad. Heat of the moment. But you have to remember that 1998 was not a banner year for the Independence Party's base. Ventura won because he siphoned a LOT of votes from Democrats and Republicans who were unsatisfied with their nominees that year, and were impressed with Ventura's rock-star attitude.
Blogger reciprocity said:
I'm glad that somebody pointed out that the advice Hutchinson gave Pawlenty was in fact well-constructed ans well-intentioned criticism which appeared in the form of an Op-Ed in the Star Tribune. Hutchinson doesn't want his opponent to fail the state, and that is very admirable.

Like it or not, Democrats need to get it through their heads that Hutchinson is not a vanity candidate and is not trying to help Pawlenty get reelected. Hutchinson is a real candidate with a very real chance of getting elected. And if you doubt that statement, consider this: Hutchinson raised nearly three times the money that Becky Lourey did, and he did it without PAC money. If you think Lourey has a chance, Hutchinson must have one as well.

And by the way, the base that you criticize has managed to get an IP candidate elected in the last 15+ years. This is more than the DFL has managed to accomplish.
Blogger Tony said:
I never thought of it as true advice but a well written jab to pre-empt points that may show up in Pawlenty's speech.

The thing I typically like about Independents is that, unlike Dems and GOPers, their criticism is usually fair. DFLers and GOPers usually are so wrapped up in partisanship their criticisms are not as good as they could be.
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Unfortunately, Tony, I think too often you're right, partisanship does trump actual reasonable criticism. As I noted in this post's update, my bad on going overboard and taking it seriously....(sheepish look).
Blogger mike said:
I totally agree the dynamic for Peter to win will include a lack of satisfaction with the other 2 candidates. As the recent 2 way governor poll's show that seems to exist for Pawlenty.

Given the 4 options the Democrats I don't think Minnesotans are going to say well we're not going to vote Hutchinson cause Hatch/Kelley/Lourey/Doran really inspire me.

So then it becomes simply a matter of Hutchinson building that momentum that Ventura did. His will come in a different way from a different crowd, but the overall feel of things won't be much different if he succeeds in getting momentum on his side.

Then it becomes a matter of winning the debates, and peaking at the right moment.

I don't predict a victory as of today for Hutchinson, as it really does come down to the political climate in the week leading up to election day, but I wouldn't bet against him.
Blogger reciprocity said:
I do want to add one point: I really like the current field of DFL candidates. All are viable, and all have different things to offer. But that does not change the fact that Hutchinson is a viable option as well.
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