Friday, May 23, 2008

Does Franken Get It?

The past several days have been pretty interesting, watching a lot of traffic come in from Minnesota Democrats Exposed and Christopher Truscott.

Some have chided Chris and I for our posts on Al Franken, asking for a scenario in which another Democrat emerges from Rochester as the DFL endorsed candidate for US Senate to run against Norm Coleman.

So we're looking for a scenario here right? With Franken's baggage, I think the delegates need to see a scenario in which Franken can overcome his self inflicted political wounds to defeat Norm Coleman.

Unfortunately, being DFL Endorsed will not be enough. He'll need to have the ability to reach out to moderate and independent voters. Having called Senator Coleman one of President Bush's "butt boys".

As unpopular as President Bush is here in Minnesota, the name calling doesn't work. Ask Rudy Boschwitz and Mark Kennedy. Minnesotans don't buy that brand of politics.

I spent a lot of time talking to a DFL friend of mine about the Playboy issue.

Blueman is not a prude. Having served 11 years in the Army, I've heard a lot of crazy stories and seen even crazier stuff during my service. Franken's story, while edgy, was not highly offensive to me. Swiftee's comment at MDE, which Brodkorb took down, was more graphic.

Satire or not, the excuse has been overused and frankly, is getting old.

Franken's Playboy mansion fundraiser this week is more problematic. Many have defended Playboy as a fairly non-offensive smut magazine. I thought so too before my friendly discussion. My friend unlocked some parental controls on their television and pulled up Playboy TV.

Apparently, there is some pretty tawdry stuff at Playboy TV, including a "reality TV show" called Foursome in which couples, um...hook up. My friend went on to describe some other explicit programming. We're naive to think that Playboy is merely a magazine now. Look at the TV show "Girls Next Door".

Playboy a pornography empire.

A Franken fundraiser at a Chicago Playboy mansion is tough to swallow for a progressive, feminist Democrat.

How did that discussion go down in the office? Surely they knew this would garner some negative attention.

I don't want to hear the argument that Obama and Clinton did this too. Three wrongs don't make a right. It's absolutely wrong.

Hell, we were up in a tizzy over Governor Pawlenty's sex-less sex scandal!

The Startribune has failed as well, putting the press back in suppression.

While the Franken Playboy story filled the Strib, an equally troubling matter, the story on Coleman's DCI bloodmoney, has died. Coleman should do the right thing, donate the contributions to a charity.

Franken's tax problems, satire, and other political missteps will impact his chances in November. Mike Ciresi, who left the US Senate race 2 months ago, trailed Franken by 1% in a recent poll?

Jack Nelson Pallmeyer is peaking at the right time. Beyond his progressive values and his work in the US Senate race, JNP has dominated in debates. He's fully capable of defeating Norm Coleman in November, if given the opportunity.

This Playboy thing really bugs me. It really makes me question whether or not Franken really "gets it"?


eric zaetsch said...

Franken did a print media interview. Connecting him to the remainder of Playboy cash flow is arguably unfair. Arguably not. It's a close call, and if opinions did not vary there'd be no need for elections. Everyone would know and agree in advance. Not so, in the streets, or at the polling place.

Ventura did that print media Playboy interview stint also, and made some comments some people disliked, but he gained more respect from me for speaking his mind in ways he did. In ways I would never fault.

Franken, however, is not Ventura.

With already too much of a Hollywood image [whether earned or unearned is debateable, and think of the Coleman free ride there, with Laurie out fully "west coasted" in marketing the product, and all].

Hollywood, if trumpeted instead of studiously downplayed as the Coleman camp is allowed to sit, is something that could hurt Franken.

And the Playboy thing has one foot on that part of the west coast while having the other in Chicago. Like Boeing that way in straddling, except Boeing's other foot is not in Hollywood.

Was it necessary to Franken's candidacy to emphasize more his ties out of state? No. Was it wise? Wait and see. I expect not.

Ciresi - I like him a lot, and he has NOT dropped out, he made his campaign inactive. There's a difference. My ONLY problem with Ciresi is misspelling his name, mixing the vowels into wrong places.

NOW -- Jack Nelson Pallmeyer.

He is my favorite. He is a lovable human being. You sense you are next to a person better than most in his presence. Or I do, others might not.

When he says the America he imagines, envisions, where multi-national firm bosses truly are corporate stewards and not in it for what they can take out, things like that - one voice says, "Jack it never will be that way you are too much an idealist and not a realist."

But the other voice - stronger - says if you don't have the goals they never will be met, if you hold them despite setbacks, there remains the chance.

I like Jack.

There is that. Who would you rather have invite you as a dinner guest?

Al and Frannie Franken come across as good people. But I would enjoy hearing of Jack's worldwide work experiences more than about New York or the west coast. Not that Franken is unsettled and an outsider, the whisper campaign says that and it's trash, but he has said little about how we should be treating the have-not people of the world. Jack puts that on record, up front. Some might fault that. I see it as a big plus.

Finally, Jack just comes across as a what-you-see-is-what-you-get, genuine good guy, and you want to shake his hand and say "Good luck."

If Franken gets the endorsement that feeling would shift to him, without any major problem, unlike a different situation. But for now, I would be a happier person if Jack is endorsed.

That's about it. Nutshell version. In the best of worlds, as I see it, Jack Nelson Pallmeyer would oppose Norm Coleman this November.

However, I have blogged about how I see Franken being unfairly jumped and mugged by thugs and newspapers, and I continue to believe that is so, and that he would be a fine Senator if he gets the endorsement and opposes Coleman. - And, not you, Brodkorb. You're opinionated, not anyone's thug, but Mr. B is in a separate class.

Charley Underwood said...

Thanks, Eric, those were some wise thoughts.

I think I get the most excited when I actually imagine Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer in the Senate. The guy has good judgment and he has guts. In my opinion, he is the perfect antidote to the wishy-washy performance we have seen in the Senate so far. After the November 2006 elections, Democrats have been afraid to take risks, so they have been destined to lose to the Bush machine. Why in the world have Democrats made 60% the new majority, instead of refusing to back down for what they believe. I truly believe that Jack will be exactly the solution to stiffen the Democratic Party backbone. He has principles and he isn't afraid to use them.