June 12, 2006
Conventional wisdom

A couple of people at the DFL state convention asked me why I haven't updated this page for a while. Well, be careful what you wish for.

I have been a bit lazy since the session ended, but if you want updates, I'll give you updates.

Let's start with the convention. The main outcome? Steve Kelley is out of the governor's race. Yes, after more than nine hours and seven ballots Saturday, Mike Hatch emerged with the endorsement. Beckey Lourey is following through on her plan to run in the primary. Party chair Brian Melendez says he'll try to talk Lourey out of running, but he may not have much luck after essentially calling her a weak candidate on Saturday night.

GOP chair Ron Carey immediately went after Hatch calling him an "abrasive, attack-dog liberal" and saying his acceptance speech was the "most angry in the history of politics."

Huh? From where I sat in the convention hall Hatch's 20 minute acceptance speech was anything but angry. As it went on with its history of the state's milling industry, the education policies of the past six governors, and federal reserve employment statistics, it turned an arena filled with 1,500 screaming delegates into a docile crowd that wanted nothing more than to head for the doors as quickly as possible to get to the post-endorsement parties.

There was nothing in the speech that came remotely close to Pawlenty's attack-dog "wildest dream" quote. In fact there were hardly any memorable quotes at all in Hatch's speech. I guess the GOP had their lines written in advance.

For nastiness quotient compare this Hatch line...

"What this great state needs more than anything else right now is a new governor."

to this statement from Pawlenty campaign manager Michael Krueger...

"For the next three months Democrats will have a primary battle to see who's better at raising taxes, ignoring illegal immigration and resisting real accountability in education."

Who sounds like the angry attack dog?

The big question in the gubernatorial race for the DFL seems to be what to do about Peter Hutchinson. He will compete for the Independence Party endorsement on June 24. DFLers are convinced that if his campaign catches on he will pull support from Hatch. What did Hutchinson have to say about Hatch's endorsement?

Here's his statement from Saturday:

"The events of today show the DFL still needs to figure out who will be their gubernatorial candidate on the November ballot. I’ll miss Steve Kelley’s thoughtful and civil contributions to the debate about Minnesota’s future."

Translation: Mike who?

One final thought. There was a lot of talk about values at the DFL convention: "Minnesota values," "common sense values," common sense-Minnesota values," etc. But in a striking difference from the GOP convention there wasn't a single prayer. God was mentioned in the pledge of allegiance, but I didn't hear Him mentioned other than that. Now that wasn't the only striking difference between the two conventions, but it sure did stand out.

Posted by Mike Mulcahy at 6:44 AM