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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Norm Coleman: Needing An Aura of Invisibility

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 08/20/07 19:02

by Dave Mindeman

Going into the 2008, the evidence is pretty strong that the Republican party has no message to offer....especially in Minnesota. The Star Tribune article about the Bush fundraiser for Norm Coleman had this little tidbit:

GOP strategy calls for a relentless focus on Coleman's ultimate opponent -- particularly if it turns out to be former "Saturday Night Live" star Franken. Normally, reelection campaigns are referendums on the incumbent. But some Republicans say privately that a Franken candidacy would give them the chance to turn the race into a referendum on the DFLer's Hollywood connections and edgy comedic antics.

We are over a year out from the elections and the Republican strategy consists of one long negative campaign focusing on the opponent.

If I remember right, Norm still is the incumbent, right? The usual idea is for the incumbent to proudly display his or her record and let the electorate decide whether they want the status quo or change.

The Minnesota Republican Party is so scared of that record, that they are begging for an opportunity to talk trash about an opponent. It is their only strategy, it is their only hope.

Why talk about the Iraq War when you can raise doubts about Hollywood fundraising? Why talk about veteran's benefits when you can point fingers at the foul language of a 1994 SNL skit? Why talk about environmental failures, infrastructure neglect, corporate greed, or budget deficits when you can cast shame on "fart" jokes?

And don't think Mike Ciresi will be spared. They don't have another strategy and so, Mike's wealth will be the new issue and lawyer/malpractice topics will be front and center.

Anything to avoid talking about the Bush/Coleman record.

So, go ahead Norm. Take that Bush Cash. You will need every cent you can muster because you not only have to pay big time to constantly assault your opponent...... you will also have to pay bigger to make yourself invisible.


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Norm Coleman Vulnerability: Safety in Numbers

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 08/17/07 16:04, Edited: 08/20/07 13:36

by Dave Mindeman

Chris Cillizza is the political blogger for "The Fix" at the Washington Post. He does commentary on a lot of talk show/news casts across the spectrum. He has an ongoing list of US Senate candidates that he believes are the most likely to switch parties in the 2008 election. His current projections are as follows: (#1 on the list is the most likely to switch)

1. Wayne Allard (R) Colorado retiring (open seat)
2. John Sununu (R) New Hampshire
3. Mary Landrieu (D) Louisiana
4. John Warner (R) Virginia -- if he retires
5. Gordon Smith (R) Oregon
6. Susan Collins (R) Maine
7. Norm Coleman (R) Minnesota
8. Chuck Hagel (R) Nebraska -- if he retires
9. Tim Johnson (D) South Dakota
10. Ted Stevens (R) Alaska

Norm Coleman's position on this list has been dropping (he was #5 last time) and Cillizza analyzes this week that Coleman "must be feeling pretty good about his reelection chances, since he is bringing President Bush into the state on Aug. 21 to raise money for his candidacy."

Maybe. But Coleman is also probably more concerned about the money flow right now than about Bush's (and his own) plummeting ratings. Since we are over a year out, Norm still has time to work his magic on parsing his words about support or non-support of the President going into next year. But, in order to do that, he needs money to manipulate that public perception. Thus, the Bush fund raiser.

It is also kind of ironic that as the GOP gains a little more confidence in Norm's re-election...complicated by the growing number of Republicans ahead of Norm on the vulnerable list...Norm's sources of money could dry up. A problem which is given more credence by the fact that Norm has purchased Mike DeWine's (former Senator from Ohio) donor list. A bit of a cheesy move coming from a campaign that tries to criticize Al Franken for having so much money coming from outside Minnesota.

Aside from Norm, though, the Fix's list is not a great sign for the GOP. They have a large number of Senate seats up for re-election and the vulnerable list continues to grow. Cillizza indicates his own surprise that the venerable Ted Stevens has now appeared -- mostly because of his own corruption scandal.

Even the two Democrats on the list, Landreiu and Johnson, have big question marks.... because the local state GOP partys involved cannot recruit any high profile candidates.

For Norm, the good news is his number may be dropping, but the bad news is there are just too many vulnerable Republicans to choose from.
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