Thursday, March 27, 2008

Everybody Knows Your Name (But Nobody Seems to Mention It)

So I got a call a few weeks back inviting me to attend the kickoff for Norm Coleman's Senate campaign. I'm a freelance writer and while that gives me significant leeway in setting my schedule, it also means that if I don't show up for work when I've got a contract, I don't get paid. I have a contract right now and my family likes it when I make money. So I had to decline the invitation.

I wasn't especially worried about missing the event, since I figured that other bloggers would be there and would write about the event in detail. The ever-reliable Michael Brodkorb was there of course and there's substantial coverage of the event over at MDE, as you'd suspect. But as yesterday spread into today, I started to notice something. Many of the other prominent center-right voices in the Minnesota blogosphere hadn't written anything about the event, either. Nothing from Powerline. Mitch Berg was otherwise occupied. AAA hadn't weighed in. No barking from the Freedom Dogs. Not a peep at Anti-Strib. Bupkis at TvM. And most notably, nothing at True North.

As bloggers we're all independent actors -- despite what some people would have you believe, there's no "ScaifeNet" or "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" afoot. We all make independent, idiosyncratic judgments concerning what we write about. And there have been some interesting local stories in the last few days, including the controversy at Forest Lake High School and the light bulb bill that Rep. Bachmann introduced, among other things. In all of that, Norm seems to have gotten lost. I'm not sure what it means, but the apparent lack of interest in Coleman's event must mean something. And it would seem to be a good idea for Norm's campaign people to see if they can ascertain the larger meaning.
Cross-posted at True North


Leo Pusateri said...

If Norm quit wearing his vote against ANWR and domestic oil exploration like a badge of honor, perhaps more conservatives would pay attention to his campaign.

Right Hook said...

Norm's actions, as well as some "off the record" remarks attributed to him that have leaked out, indicate that he thinks he can win with or without the support of Conservatives.

I have it from a couple of sources that I trust (and I'm sure this is also the case with the bloggers Mark mentioned who are much more connected than I am) that Norm has privately expressed a "what choice do Conservatives have have - most won't vote for Franken" attitude. He's betting that he will pick up more moderates and traditional values democrats than republicans who won't vote (or those that will vote against him).

I don't think Franken will be a particularly strong candidate (Wellstone could at least articulate an intelligent argument for his positions) so Norm might very well win without active Conservative support. In any case it's beginning to look like his strategy will get a real world test.

One caveat: things could change considerably if a credible Conservative makes a serious primary challange.

Drew Emmer said...

At this stage of the game encouraging a credible conservative to mount a primary challenge against Norm Coleman is in a word: insane. In the interest of making a point we would certainly lose the senate seat to a comedian. Not funny.

I participate in the political process. I sit on the exec committee for my BPOU. I'm on a candidate committee. I'm on the resolutions committee for my CD. I'm a delegate to my CD, State GOP Convention, and a State Central Committee member. I publish a political newspaper, blog and volunteer for and

I've also had the privilege of spending time with the Minnesota Conservative Counties Movement, a fledgling group of grassroots conservative activists with chapters springing up throughout our great state.

Like you I also have a day job or three. None of the above political pursuits are paid endeavors. I'm not complaining. I do it for free and I do it for the sake of family and freedom.

My absence at Norm's launch event was a matter of being busy with work. Nothing more. Nothing less. I've supported Norm in the past and will do whatever I can to get him re-elected in November. He will definitely win Wright County.

I would like to see Norm change his position on drilling in ANWR, SCHIPs, Dream Act, etc. to more a more conservative stance. But that's not a hill I'm willing to die on at this stage in a contentious race with an idiot like Franken.

Mark said...

Thanks for the comments so far. Please understand – in no way do I mean to denigrate the efforts of bloggers. My concern is what Right Hook identified – that Norm seems to think he can take his base for granted. Whether Norm understands it or not, he is going to need articulate voices to help him. And he may not have sufficient support if he continues on the path he's chosen to pursue. And as Drew rightly points out, the consequences of that wouldn't be funny at all.

I take Leo's views quite seriously. RH and Drew, same thing. So should Sen. Coleman.

The Lady Logician said...

I think Mitch answered it best. Most of us have day jobs or are in some other way unable to report on it. It was not until today, when I attended the Scott County Kick Off that I felt able to write something intelligent on the subject (which by the way I did.....)


Right Hook said...

Drew -

You make a good point and I think we are on the same page. I was merely making the observation that Norm's apparent strategy could well backfire if a primary challenger emerges.

Whether or not this happens is largely up to Norm. The longer and further he veers off of the reservation the greater the chance that a potential credible challenger will get angry enough to pursue a campaign.

Senator Coleman could greatly reduce his (and our) chance of getting burned by not playing with fire.