Dayton Takes His 2006 Cues from Schumer?
Word comes from the New York Times this morning (registration required) that Senator Dayton is modeling his re-election effort on Brooklyn Lefty Charles Schumer's recent triumph:
Charles E. Schumer, New York's press-savvy senior senator, has made a name in his state with weekly Sunday news conferences, where he chases headlines on a slow news day. Now, his Democratic colleague in Minnesota, Mark Dayton, is doing the same with his re-election in 2006 approaching.
In his mission to revive Democratic prospects in the Senate, he faces the immediate task of helping defend five Democratic senators in states that President Bush carried or did surprisingly well in, analysts say. They are Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Dayton of Minnesota, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Bill Nelson of Florida. One of them, Mr. Dayton, said Mr. Schumer gave him one valuable piece of advice over dinner: hold regular news conferences on Sunday, a ploy Mr. Schumer has long used to avoid competing with major news for the press's attention.
But even though Mr. Schumer is sometimes mocked for his press events, Mr. Dayton is high on Mr. Schumer's suggestion. "I'm trying to prey on the Minnesota press in the same way," Mr. Dayton said in an interview. "I've gained press that I could not have without his advice."
Somehow we missed those blockbuster Sunday press conferences. Nevertheless, DvK is puzzled why Dayton would model his re-election effort on that of one of the most left-wing members of the Senate. News flash: New York is cobalt blue while Minnesota is slowly turning a nice salmon color. Moreover, Schumer faced token Republican opposition in the guise of Howard Mills while Dayton will face an accomplished, telegenic Representative Kennedy. Mills received no support from the NRSC while Kennedy is certain to receive millions. Interesting strategy, Senator.