Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All The Minnesota News That's Fit To Print

Adam Nagourney of The New York Times has published two articles about the politics of my native state of Minnesota. They are somewhat unrelated, but a common thread is the potential presidential candidacy of that state's Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty.

One of those articles addresses the current status of the never-ending U.S. Senate election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, now that a state court has confirmed the result of the recount in favor of Franken. Coleman will appeal to the state supreme court, but the issue facing Pawlenty is whether, at some point, perhaps after the Minnesota supreme court decides the matter, he will need to issue a certificate of election, even if further appeals are pursued.

Two interesting excerpts from that article:

First, Nagourney describes Coleman, a Brooklyn native, as an "expatriate" for having moved to Minnesota. That term is usually applied to one who leaves one's native country, rather than one who merely moves from one U.S. state to another. Sorry, Adam, shocking at this might be to a New Yorker, that midwestern state of ice fishing, dairy cattle, and people who talk like the characters in Fargo, is in the same country as the boroughs of New York City.

Second, he ties this race in to the 2000 presidential election deadlock between George W. Bush and Al Gore. That's appropriate, up to a point. But this statement is puzzling:

This is not merely another example of the kind of whisker-close political contest that has become a regular part of the American political landscape since the 2000 presidential race.

There were close elections in this country before 2000. (As I've repeatedly mentioned, the ones that are most relevant to the Franken-Coleman race are the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1962, and the New Hampshire U.S. Senate contest in 1974.) And there have been close elections since 2000.

He seems to imply, contrary to that history, that the 2000 deadlock caused a new trend of close elections. Presumably part of Karl Rove's evil plan to destroy America.

In the next post, I'll discuss how helpful it is for a Republican presidential hopeful to get a positive mention in a newspaper that many of his fellow party members despise.

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