Sunday, July 12, 2009

For the weekend gardeners among us

If you’ve been out mowing the lawn, or picking weeks, or even going to the Al Franken party all weekend, it might have escaped your attention that the Entenza Stampede has run into a bit of a gully. And if you look around the blogosphere and on Twitter, you can find a lot of dead buffalo.

As far as Spot can tell, it started last Thursday with the reporting of a fine by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board levied against the Entenza campaign for taking an illegal contribution. This prompted Spot’s friend Jeff Fecke to say some things that have obviously been on his mind for a while in a post called Anybody But Entenza. Jeff’s lede describes the quadrennial suicide pact known as the Minnesota DFL:

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor party is really bad at picking gubernatorial candidates. Not since 1986 — that’s 23 years ago — has a DFL candidate won election in a governor’s race, a five-cycle drought that’s almost impossible in a state as blue as Minnesota. The candidates we’ve put up since — Rudy Perpich in full Governor Goofy mode in 1990, John Marty in weak tea mode in 1994, Skip Humphrey in dynastic right mode in 1998, Roger Moe in Roger Moe mode in 2002, and Mike Hatch in full meltdown mode in 2006 — have been disaster piled upon disaster, a series of men (all men) who each, in his own special way, clearly deserved to lose his election.

Jeff doesn’t think much of the idea of running with Entelza either:

Today, Matt Entenza is running for governor, pushing hard on the idea that he’s already the de facto nominee. He’s got a lot of money, he’s got a strong organization, and he’s got a tailwind. You can hear the cognoscenti of the DFL nodding approvingly [if they are nodding hard enough to actually hear them, Spot supposes, that would really be something!]. It’s his time. He’s put in his time, paid his dues, that 2006 kerfuffle was almost three years ago, nobody remembers that.

That seems to sum up the current conventional thinking pretty well. Suicide pact: the 2010 edition. But the race hasn’t even begun, much less ended, and given the creeping sense of entitlement of the Entenza campaign, Jeff’s post was a most welcome wake-up call. It has sparked some intense discussion, some hard feelings, and attempts to invoke the code of omerta.

Thinking that Matt Entenza’s campaign finance problems and his weaknesses as a candidate would remain undiscovered by the Republicans is, however, an exercise in magical thinking worthy of J.K. Rowling.

So thanks, Jeff; we needed that.

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