Monday, May 21, 2012

Bussin' it

Picture this: A 40-something Minnesota educator decides to jump into the political fray and challenge a popular, well-funded incumbent US Senator. Using a grassroots campaign, the upstart candidate makes campaign stops throughout the state in a custom school bus.....and emerges victorious.

Think that's a stretch?

Well, that exactly what happened in 1990 when college professor Paul Wellstone knocked off incumbent Senator Rudy Boschwitz.

Yes, I know the parallels aren't exactly the same, as Wellstone was a far left Democrat and 2012 GOP endorsed candidate (and HS economics teacher) Kurt Bills is a libertarian-ish Republican. But like Wellstone, Bills is going to have to rely on a strong grassroots backing in a effort to to overcome the well-funded and well-liked Senator Amy Klobuchar, all while making the rounds in "The Liberty Bus."

But the most interesting aspect of this contest will be the MN Ron Paul supporters, of whom a large majority worked to get Bills the endorsement. The Paul supporters, for the past several years, have been the proverbial dog chasing the the car down the country road but never catching it. However, one always wonders what would happen if the dog catches the car. Well now that has happened. The Paul supporters have their preferred Republican candidate running in a high profile national race. And as they're about to find out, winning a party endorsement and claiming victory in a statewide election are two entirely different animals. If the MN libertarian contingent is going to put Bills over the top, there will definitely have to be broader appeal. That won't happen if they revert to the tactics of claiming that their candidate's detractors hate liberty and the Constitution.

 As usual, stay tuned!



Mr. D said...

Good post -- if you want a taste of what Bills is going to face, read this piece at MinnPost. It's going to be tough and Bills is going to need help.

Brad Carlson said...

Heh. I actually sat next to Marlys Harris, the author of that post, in the "press pit" for most of the weekend.

She was constantly asking me what the speaker's name was and "What did he/she say", etc.

Mr. D said...

She was constantly asking me what the speaker's name was and "What did he/she say", etc.

Interesting that she kept asking you, because it's clear from the piece that she didn't especially care what anyone actually said, but rather how she might portray the speaker in the worst possible way.