Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

2/12/2005

The Chattering Political Class…

…Gave us their first impressions of Minnesota’s supercharged U.S. Senate campaign on Minnesota’s holy grail of political talk shows, Almanac. And on the first day, the pundits spoke and they saw that it was good.

For those DvK fans from outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Almanac has been the premiere political broadcast in the state for more than 20 years. Although the show’s format isn’t strictly political, Almanac’s guest list reads like a roll call at the State Capitol and the show’s political panel occupies nearly a half-hour of programming. Friday’s panel, consisting of two DFLers and two GOPers, had mostly positive things to say about Kennedy’s announcement.

Panelist Brian Sullivan reaffirmed he is not running for U.S. Senate despite media coverage suggesting otherwise (something DvK and The First Ring knew over a week ago). Sullivan, running for an RNC committeeman position, didn’t commit himself to any candidate but said ”Mark has come out of the gates hard” while former Sen. Grams was ”not as quick on the trigger.” Other panelists said Kennedy has ”a reputation as a hard campaigner” who overcame long odds in his first campaign for Congress ”and can do it again.”

Almanac’s chief co-host, the scarf wearing Eric Eskola, suggested that Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar was the DFL’s ”endorsement leader”, an opinion seconded by the panel’s DFLers. Wealthy trial lawyer and 2000 U.S. Senate candidate Mike Ciresi was surprisingly discounted by both sides of the panel except to blandly agree that Ciresi’s vast wealth would help him. Ciresi has been considered by many to be a first-tier candidate should he consider running but apparently not Friday night.

The only voice of skepticism on Kennedy was raised by former DFL legislator Dee Long who suggested that Kennedy ”set people’s teeth on edge because of his attacks on [Patty] Wetterling”, the missing children's advocate and Kennedy's 2004 opponent.

As Gary might say: "If that’s the best they can do…"

--Posted by First Ringer

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