Posted at 8:11 AM on July 19, 2007
by Mike Mulcahy
Gov. Tim Pawlenty was asked in St. Paul the other day about the faltering John McCain for President campaign, and he said:
"Obviously Sen. McCain's campaign has not gone as well as he planned or hoped, or I planned or hoped as well."
That's from MPR's Tim Pugmire's piece.
All indications are that Pawlenty still supports McCain. After all, he's one of the campaign's co-chairs and can hardly bail out now. But The Hotline raises the possiblity that he may have a second choice in mind should McCain throw in the towel.
Posted at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2007
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The Digest is in a teasing mood today. So guess who MAY be Gov. Pawlenty's second choice for President? Who was worried about her daughter's swimsuit drama? Why would we write about Torii Hunter on this blog. Read on because we're diving right in.
The Duluth News Tribune gets more than a "tens of millions" quote on the land around Lake Vermilion. The paper says the price of the proposed state park could cost $40 million. DFL Sen. Tom Bakk says it could cost $50 million.
The Met Council says the expected rate of growth in the Twin Cities may be smaller than initially projected.
The State Finance Department says there are $3.25 billion in bonding project requests.
WCCO reality checks whether the Twins can keep Torii Hunter. The station cites studies saying baseball owners don't invest as heavily in players as they suggest once a new stadium opens.
The Senate stays up all night and nothing changes regarding the war in Iraq. GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is one of those who stays in the chamber all night but calls the move a "political stunt." He also got dry eyes.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar votes for the amendment.
Politico says anti-war and pro surge groups start turning the screws on Congress.
Coleman also backs changes to the No Child Left Behind Law.
President Bush creates an import safety panel. Klobuchar wants to know why inspectors aren't asking for more money.
Klobuchar is also mentioned in this Washington Post story on moms in Congress. She tells a story about helping her daughter buy a swimsuit while voting.
She will also take questions at the Washington Post site at 9 AM (central) on Friday.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison pushes to reduce predatory lending.
A House Committee passes the Wellstone Mental Health Parity Act.
The House approves funding for the Winona's National Child Protection Training Center. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is mentioned.
Walz will also hold an economic summit in Austin.
GOP Rep. John Kline is one of those who criticize the cutting of union oversight funds.
GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad wants to make cancer screening cheaper.
Sugar growers are worried about proposals to cut the federal sugar program. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
The National Journal suggests that Pawlenty may be getting an affinity for Mitt Romney and could run against Klobuchar in 2012. He was in Washington yesterday.
Pawlenty talks about Romney as his presidential pick (John McCain) is working to keep his congressional supporters on board. Coleman is quoted in this story on those efforts.
An Iraq war vet could face GOP Rep. John Kline in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.
CQ says Coleman raised the 2nd highest amount of money of Senate Republicans and has $4 million in the bank.
Larry Sabato says Minnesota's U.S. Senate race will be competitive but notes that Coleman will be tough to beat:
Minnesota presents an interesting electoral dynamic as the Democrats have a three-way race to pick their nominee and Senator Norm Coleman has also been threatened with a primary. Minnesota should vote Democratic in a presidential year--we'll leave aside for now the VP possibility of GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty--so Coleman will have his work cut out for him. The identity of the Democratic candidate really matters here, though, and the party needs a strong nominee. Coleman is aggressive, tenacious, and may be tougher to beat that Democrats now think.
DFL Senate candidate Al Franken is scheduled to speak at a DFL picnic.
Posted at 6:32 PM on July 19, 2007
by Tom Scheck
U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken says he will run a full page ad in Friday's Star Tribune criticizing GOP Sen. Norm Coleman for not voting to remove U.S. troops from Iraq. Franken said it may be a bit early to run the ads but he wants to keep pressure on Coleman on the issue. Here's my full interview with Franken on his decision to run the ad, his plan and his thoughts on Coleman's efforts on the Fairness Doctrine.
Franken isn't the only one criticizing Coleman. An anti-war group held a news conference outside of Coleman's St. Paul home (Coleman is in DC right now) to announce that Coleman's neighbors have agreed to put anti-war signs in their yard. This isn't a surprise since most of Coleman's neighbors also had Wellstone signs in their yard in 2002. I know because I had to cover Coleman's announcement on the day of Paul Wellstone's plane crash.
Coleman's campaign manager didn't return a call on these two items. (see statement below). Coleman said last week that he does not support a troop withdrawal. You can see MPR's story on Coleman's decision here. Here was his conference call with reporters (Real Audio).
Coleman's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan released this statement on Franken's ad:
"It's no surprise that Al Franken's plan for Iraq comes in a full page, partisan fundraising attack ad in the newspaper to raise money for his campaign. There are clear differences between Senator Coleman and Al Franken. Senator Coleman supports a changed mission in Iraq that ensures our soldiers are not in the middle of age-old battles between different Iraqi factions. In addition, he believes allowing Al Qaeda to create a terrorist state, as the Taliban did in Afghanistan, is unacceptable. Furthermore, we simply cannot let Iran continue to support terrorist elements that are destabilizing the region.
Senator Coleman supports, and believes there should be, a significant drawdown of U.S. troops in 2008. This drawdown will not end our responsibilities to Iraq or the region. American commitment to Kosovo, Korea and Germany was a commitment to regional stability and global peace. Our commitment to a presence in Iraq cannot be viewed any differently. When Al Franken chooses to ignore the recommendations of our Generals who make it clear that a precipitous withdrawal of American troops will further destabilize the region and cause more pain and suffering, he chooses to engage in partisan politics. A cynical full page fundraising ad in the newspaper, on the heels of calling for cutting off funds for our troops in Iraq, is not a substitute for a thoughtful and necessary discussion about our changed mission in Iraq."