Former DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar has suggested in the past that he probably won't run for the seat he lost to GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack in 2010. But there is buzz among DFLers in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District that he could make that run. The reason: An article that recently ran in the The Duluth Labor World has this headline:
"Jim Oberstar: Don't close the door on anything."
The story centered around Oberstar's recent lunch with 40 members of the region's trade meeting but it appears he may have received some cajoling from some long-time supporters.
"When he sat to eat his lunch, Retired Sheet Metal Worker George Sundstrom stood and said, "when you were speaking it was evident, you haven't lost a thing. What would it take to get you to run again?"
With a smile Bill Richards, who has worked with Oberstar since 1981, placed a comforting hand on Jean Oberstar's shoulder as she appeared mortified by the prospect of him running for Congress again. Oberstar had told the press earlier, "I don't think I'll run again."
He knew he couldn't get away that easily with Sundstrom. ":Let's not close the door on anything," Oberstar answered. Former Duluth Central Body Chair Sundstrom led the applause."
Question of the Day: Should Oberstar give it another run?
I have heard Jim Oberstar speak and have always been impressed ... he is a great loss for this Congress, but the voters seem to want some "new faces" ...
Watching C-SPAN and seeing the new Congress, one notable aspect is the political youth of the new House members ... by political youth, I am not implying that they are 30-somethings (although a few are) but instead under-50 ... meaning that could be there for a long time ... compare the new Republicans with the returning Democrats who are led by some aging members. Last time it was Obey and Stupek who decided not to run ... and the voters did not return Ike Skelton and Oberstar ... these were well-respected and compotent leaders, but it was time for a change.
Although Jim Oberstar could win, it just pushes the question off to the future of who the next wave of DFL leaders will be.
Would I vote for Oberstar if he was on my ballot ... yes, but I would still rather have a different choice ... besides I do not like re-matches.
Oberstar represented the 8th district very well during most of the time he was in Congress, and he certainly brought home more than our fair share of pork-laden projects. But in recent years Jim lost touch with his constituents as he got caught up with the extreme liberalism that pervades DC. I think he lost his soul voting for cap and trade, stimulus, government takeover of the private sector, and failed health care reform that will only increase our costs and add to the deficit. Too bad.