Friday, May 30, 2008

More Calls For Franken To Drop Senate Bid

Read it yesterday while checking out the Sarvi piece over at Twin Cities Daily Planet.

I hadn't planned on posting on this story, until I started to go through the comments. Wow, people just got pretty fired up over Mr. Brodericks opinion.
Franken’s problems don’t stop at opportunism or satirical thrusts at America’s sexual mores or misogyny or the fact that his staff keeps him away from the press for fear that he will indulge in a fit of rage at some poor reporter. He is also a self-absorbed and lackluster candidate who fails to connect with voters. Polls that came out even before Porn-o-Rama showed him running seven points behind Norm Coleman – Norm Coleman, for heaven’s sakes – or just about dead even with Mike Ciresi, who ain’t even in the race anymore, and only a few points ahead of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, the underfunded DFL-er who happens to possess the integrity, vision, and record of public service that Franken lacks.

Yeah, I've seen the Rasmussen Poll, with Franken down 2 points right now. However, the commenter's at TCDP fail to point out that the poll only provided the person with a Franken or Coleman option. Jack Nelson Pallmeyer was not a part of the poll. Neither was Mike Ciresi, who remains out of the race.

With the DFL State Convention 1 week away, things are really heating up. From what I have heard from some delegates, Team Franken is doing a considerable amount of polling going into next weekends endorsement.


For months and months now, Franken has been the overwhelming favorite, in line for a first ballot endorsement.

Oh have the times changed.

Tax problems, a Playboy scandal, and a growing malaise towards Franken have left the campaign in full on defensive mode with a week left before the convention. Why else would a Franken spokesperson come out so strongly against Congresswoman McCollum?

Dave Mindeman over at mnpACT! introduces an interesting scenario.

The specter of no endorsement grows.

Al Franken is damaged goods. He will not defeat Norm Coleman in November, regardless of whether or not he trails Coleman in a Rasmussen poll 6 months before the election.

There has to be a full and complete vetting of Franken. Didn't he pay someone to do oppo research on himself? He ought to get his money back if he did.

Jack Nelson Pallmeyer is the type of candidate who would unite our party. Despite the Publius theory that JNP would be attacked for his writings on religion.

Jack Nelson Pallmeyer has a BA in Political Science from St Olaf, a Masters of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in New York, and has been a professor at the University of St Thomas for 15 years.

Using the Publius argument, would Franken's personal experience with Playboy have led him to his 2000 dirty rant?

Apples and oranges ladies and gentlemen, apples and oranges.

The darkhorse here in Mike Ciresi. I like Mike. He's a great guy who have given tirelessly to his party.

While a late bid for the DFL endorsement is highly improbable, what would happen if the delegates decided on "no endorsement" next weekend?

Many shudder at the thought of a US Senate DFL Primary this September.

I'm not one of them.

In 2006, John Tester was locked in a hotly contested US Senate Primary in Montana. After winning the primary, Senator Tester worked to unify the party and went on to defeat Senator Conrad Burns.

The same can happen here. We can send Norm Coleman packing to a cushy K Street lobbying gig, if we get the right candidate. I really do like Al Franken, I think he's a nice guy and a great family man. But I think his baggage makes him a lackluster US Senate candidate.

This race is much too important to have it weighed down with Franken's baggage.


TwoPutt said...

"...or the fact that his staff keeps him away from the press for fear that he will indulge in a fit of rage at some poor reporter."

Yeah, "right."

"He is also a self-absorbed and lackluster candidate who fails to connect with voters."

I've seen Al at plenty events, and I've never seen Al fail to connect.

That whole highlighted section looks like it was written by a slash 'n burn JNP supporter that's more interested in his/her candidate, than beating Norm "Smokescreen" Coleman, R=Lapdog.

It's bad enough Franken's takin' the hits from republiCon Ron (and without the endorsement, the DFL can't help); it's worse that folks allegedly belonging to the DFL are piling on.

Personally, it matters not if Franken or JNP are the endorsee; what matters more is beating ol' Smokescreen.

Yes, I favor Franken, but:

If JNP gets the endorsement, I'm 110% behind him.

Can/will JNP supporters get 110% behind Franken, if he's endorsed?

Political Muse said...

TwoPutt: I hate to disagree with you because everything I have read of yours is great. However, I met Al twice and on neither occasion did he connect with me. On the second occasion he actually walked away mid-conversation. I know I can be boring, but I didn't think I was that boring.

Also, I am not a hard core JNP supporter.

eric zaetsch said...

If Franken gets the nod, will it be falling silent Tinklenberg style, after the convention's over? I see that as, interesting.

But I'm outside the tent.

If Franken gets the nod, it is fine with me. I have no problems with Al Franken. He would have my vote over Norm Coleman in a heartbeat.

I like Jack better. I am not at all dismayed by his having deep religious feelings. I share the same view about many things he has said as right and wrong, from a secular humanist view. Either perspective has a basis for ethics, which Norm does not connect with.

Jack has none of the Bible huckster in him. He is 24 karet real and sincere. That's fine.

As to a primary, I recall Mark Dayton was not the endorsed candidate. Some guy from the Iron Range was, who would have ended up chopped liver, even against Rod Grams, was picked by party bosses.

Dayton won the primary, then won the seat.

Why go to Montana for an example? Dayton's fine with me.

Two Putt's view is fine with me too. Franken has done nothing to merit pejorative language.

Charley Underwood said...

Two Putt, I agree with you completely that the smears against Franken are merely Republican noise designed to distract from Coleman's horrible job.

I truly appreciate your comment that you will be 110% behind Jack, if he wins the endorsement. It seems clear to me that we are natural allies here in the effort to retire Coleman.

I disagree with you completely, however, that Franken has been connecting with average Minnesotans. Personally, I think all this somber campaigning has taken Franken completely out of his natural satirical element and put quite a crimp in Franken's style. I hope he is able to get back to being the brilliant satirist soon.

I also think that Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer would make a truly exceptional senator. Sadly, both House and Senate have been totally lacking in courage against the Republican machine, and I really hope to see Jack there soon to give a much-needed addition of spine.

eric zaetsch said...

I am reading a few of the stories.

It appears Betty McCollum is doing her best to keep a braying donkey as the symbol of her party.

She endorsed Tinklenberg.

No problem with a revolving door lobbyist representing multiple municipalities competing against one another for scarce highway funding - trading on his tenure at MnDOT and almost never failing to mention Oberstar, while not presenting himself as an influence peddler. That is fine with McCullom. She sees no upticket or downticket fallout from that candidacy, nor does she disapprove of waffling on issues she claims to treasure.

Who mixes her Koolaid?


The one person who should step up and disavow McCullom is Ciresi.

She supported him, he put his candidacy into a cryogenic preservation status, and she is attacking Franken.

I hope Jack gets endorsed and it all goes away.

I hope McCullom returns to her own reelection effort.

Let her bray for reelection.

Bruce Vento, we miss you in your district.

Minnesota Central said...

YES ... do the Democratic thing and have a primary.

The endorsing convention is strictly an extension of Representative Government that is managed by party activists ... not the general voting citizenry.

The decision by JNP and Franken to abide by the endorsing convention may have made sense before all these stories came out, but now things have changed.

I'm an independent and dream of the day when I can go into the election booth having to make the serious choice between two GREAT candidates.

Franken's problems may be being exploited by the Republicans, but that doesn't mean that it isn't shaping the debate. IF Franken's problems are truly non-relevant, then he should win the primary without a problem. If not the DFL will have chance to offer another candidate in November ... remember TwoPuttTommy, there are no do-overs come November.

I have major policy disagreements with Coleman but I have to agree with him on one of his main characterizations of his opponent -- namely, Franken (and JNP) have no elective office experience ... and hence no legislative experience.

Although Eric (the previous poster) will disagree, I would like to see Betty McCollum on the ballot. She brings legislative experience and elective experience.

lavndrblue said...

Minnesota Central said: "The endorsing convention is strictly an extension of Representative Government that is managed by party activists ... not the general voting citizenry."

I disagree with this statement. Two years ago I wasn't a party activist, I decided to get involved and this year approximately 1/3 + of the delegates and alternates are newly elected, never having been involved in local politics nor attended a caucus before. I learned that the way to change our system (just as they are learning this year) is to get involved, make your voice heard and to not sit on the sidelines and bitch about "party activists" running the show. The citizenry elects the delegates to represent them WHEN the citizenry gets off their butts and gets involved.

All of the party activists I have met and worked with (whether I agree with them or not)are amazing people with the highest of integrity; having a love for this state and our country that cannot and should not be diminished by statements that discredit them....and now me.