Thursday, July 15, 2010

Performance Art at Ol' Mexico

Too bad I had to work yesterday and didn't get a chance to join the fun at Ol' Mexico in Roseville yesterday, where Tom Emmer went into the hamster cage and was chewed on a bit before being doused with 2000 pennies. So did we learn anything from yesterday's Teachable Moment? I suspect so:
  • Probably the top learning that Emmer should take from yesterday's adventure is this: if you think out loud, it bothers the unthinking. You can muse about things like a tip credit all you'd like, but when you are being followed by reporters and DFL operatives with flip phones 24/7, you no longer have the luxury of thinking out loud about any topic.
  • The second learning is this -- while Tom Emmer has significant political gifts, including the ability to make persuasive arguments, there are people he will never be able to reach. The key is to reach the people you can reach and not get distracted by those who wish you ill.
  • It looks like the DFL meme in this cycle is going to be "Emmer is teh crazee" or something like that. Calling the mental health of your opponents into question is an old dodge, of course. If Mark Dayton, who has been quite open about having received treatment for mental illness issues himself, wins the primary on August 10, which seems likely, that's going to be a pretty tough sell. Watch Mark Dayton's eyes sometime -- even in his ads, you see a faraway look that's kinda, well, spooky. He'll have a very difficult time selling the idea that Emmer is the one who is somehow unhinged. And that's even before we get into the cognitive dissonance that is DFL policy -- runaway spending is fiscal discipline!
  • I'd also like to thank "Robert Erickson," the fellow who dumped the pennies on Emmer, for pulling a stunt that's far more likely to garner sympathy for Emmer than it is for the plight of the people "Erickson" purports to champion. What's next -- a pie in the face? Dousing Emmer in ketchup that represents the blood of undocumented workers? Wait, I'd better stop giving "Erickson" ideas.
  • As Mitch Berg points out, no matter the optics of the last few days, it's awfully early in the campaign and there's no reason to panic. The fundamentals of this election cycle are quite good for Republicans. Take a deep breath and realize that we're still over a month away from the State Fair. No one except political obsessives is really paying attention right now.

1 comment:

Night Writer said...

The media and DFL (and, as Mitch says, "pardon the redundancy") are anxious to have a funeral service for Emmer's campaign. On the plus side for Emmer, he can expect the likes of Rick Cohn and Robert Erickson to show up for the ceremony.