Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barkley in Waconia

From the West Central Tribune
For the next hour, Barkley talked about how to fix Social Security and the national debt – his favorite campaign topics – and fielded skeptical voters’ questions about his brief stint as a lobbyist and whether he could influence Washington when there are only two other independent senators.

“If I get there, the three of us could probably control the joint,” he said of the power they would yield.

Barkley answered all of the questions – except for the one about which presidential candidate he supports; he claims to be undecided – and made sure to take a few jabs at his opponents.

Barkley faults Coleman and other congressional incumbents for looking the other way in the lead up to the financial crisis.

“He was watching the store as this economic meltdown occurred,” Barkley said. “And he wants to go back for more.”

And Barkley has been no easier on Franken.

“Al flew in here to be our savior for the middle class,” he said of the former comedian. “He doesn’t know what it’s like to be in the middle class.”

With a laid-back, self-deprecating approach, Barkley insists he still could pull it off next Tuesday. He said he is polling only slightly lower than was Jesse Ventura at this point in the 1998 governor race.

Barkley, who led that campaign and later was appointed by Ventura to a brief Senate term after Sen. Paul Wellstone’s 2002 death, said independents are under-represented in polling.

“Ten years ago they gave Jesse a shot, and I hope they’re ready to do it again,” he said, adding that Ventura helped him raise money recently to pay for a TV ad he will begin airing today.

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