- October 11, 2002: The United States Senate passes Public Law 107-243, more commonly known as the Iraq War Resolution, with a vote of 77-23. Senator Paul Wellstone, involved in a re-election campaign against challenger Norm Coleman, votes against the measure.
- October 25, 2002: Sen. Wellstone dies in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minnesota.
- October 29, 2002: A memorial service honoring Sen. Wellstone is televised throughout Minnesota. It turns deeply partisan, with speakers including Rick Kahn and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) openly campaigning for replacement candidate Walter Mondale.
- The backlash against the memorial service proves costly to the Democrats as Norm Coleman wins election. Polling suggests that the tone of the event may have cost other Democrats running in elections elsewhere in the country.
- January 7, 2006: a helicopter crash kills Maj. Stuart Anderson near Tal Afar, Iraq. Seven other soldiers and four civilians are killed as well. Major Anderson is survived by his wife, two daughters and his parents. "He was very proud of being in the military,” his father, Claremont Anderson, of Hoffman, Minn., said earlier this month.
- September 16, 2008: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee runs an ad featuring Maj. Anderson's parents, including the aforementioned Mr. Anderson. In the ad, the grieving parents blame Sen. Coleman for voting for the war. As noted in the timeline, when the war was authorized, Sen. Coleman was a private citizen.
Cross-posted on True North