Skip to comments.Al Franken going unchallenged in MN?
Posted on 01/10/2013 10:44:30 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Yesterday, National Journal's Michael Catalini gave a rather depressing look at the prospects so far for Republicans in Minnesota's 2014 Senate race, when Al Franken will defend his seat for the first time --- and so far, no one has volunteered to challenge him. Norm Coleman, who lost the seat by 312 votes in 2008 after a months-long recount and challenge, has firmly declared himself uninterested in another election:
After winning election by the narrowest of margins in 2008, Sen. Al Franken looked like one of the GOPs most inviting Senate targets in 2014. But instead, the party is facing the reality that Franken is proving to be a much more resilient opponent than expected, and his uncontroversial first term is raising doubts about whether Republicans can even recruit a first-tier candidate against the former Saturday Night Live funnyman.
"You can't play handball in an open field. At this point there's been no candidate," said former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, who lost to Franken in the 2008 race. “He’s been pretty much invisible. In that sense he hasn’t created a lot of enemies. I don’t know if that’s his strategy, but it’s a pretty good strategy if it is.
The list of potential, formidable candidates is short. Coleman, in an interview with National Journal, categorically said he wasnt going to run for the Senate in 2014, denying the GOP one of its best-known possible challengers. Rep. Erik Paulsen, a popular House member from the Twin Cities suburbs, telegraphed his own hesitance about jumping into the Senate race on a local radio show. Coleman touted Rep. John Kline, another swing-district Republican, but he has passed up previous statewide bids in favor of building up tenure in the House. And Rep. Michele Bachmann, who would be formidable in a primary, would be the Democrats dream challenger, given her high unfavorables even back home. She barely won re-election in a solidly-Republican House district in 2012.
Whats clear is that Minnesota Republicans are wary of jumping head first into the contest, despite the obvious opportunities against Franken.
In order to understand this, one has to understand the ground game of the state GOP, which has been a total disaster until recently. The state organization more or less collapsed financially in 2011, after having succeeded in the midterms in taking control of the legislature but losing all the statewide constitutional offices. In the 2012 cycle, Ron Paul followers won key offices in local party structures, many of whom have failed to engage much afterward. The state GOP has worked hard over the past year to put its house in order, but it still has a lot of work to do to catch up to the DFL, and not too much time in which to do it.
Furthermore, the experience of running against Amy Klobuchar in 2012 will probably cool most potential Republican candidates from tossing their hats in the ring against Franken. Klobuchar raised prodigious amounts of money and buried Kurt Bills by more than 2-1 in the general election. That margin went far beyond Barack Obama’s support in the state, even though Klobuchar — like Franken — has kept a very low profile in Washington, mainly notable only for following Obama’s lead in the Senate. Franken has succeeded in following Klobuchar’s strategy, and unlike Coleman, I am certain that it’s deliberate.
However, there are reasons to hope for a better outcome in 2014. First, Obama won’t be on the ticket, although all of the state’s constitutional offices will be. Second-term midterms tend to be tough on presidents, and unless hiring and economic activity pick up soon, that will almost certainly be the case for Obama. Second, the more onerous provisions of ObamaCare will be in effect by that time, especially the medical-device taxes that will hammer Minnesota businesses. Franken and Klobuchar have tried to reverse them, but they voted to impose them in the first place. Hopefully by that time the state GOP will have righted their own organizational ship and can focus on producing better candidates and ground game efforts.
Still, unless Franken makes a fool out of himself, he’s going to have the advantage, especially against less-well-known Republicans. The best chance for beating Franken in 2014 may be the last Republican to win a state-wide election in Minnesota — Tim Pawlenty. He built the kind of national reach he’d need to match Franken’s fundraising (Frabnken already has $1.3 million COH), and Republicans will need to nationalize this race to make up for the shortcomings of the state Republican organization. He’s also laying low at the moment, but that may be a deliberate strategy, too.
Caligula made his horse a Roman senator.
We’ve sunk even lower than that with horse’s ass in the US Senate.
Why doesn’t Michelle run for this seat?
After winning? It was another stolen election and the Damn Stupid Party let him steal it. Just enough ballots found in car trunks??????? I'm disgusted when I see that unfunny pig on any tv screen.
I wish Jason Lewis would run against Weird Al.
We need a second party.
RE: Why doesnt Michelle run for this seat?
Michelle Bachmann BARELY won last November. She won by a nose. If she can’t win comfortably in her district, what makes you think she has a chance state wide? ( in a state that went Obama).
The election’s two years off. Coleman is worhtless anyway and would have lost. Pawlenty, Bachmann, one of the new legislators could be the potenial nominee. Kurt Bills, who just lost to Klobuchar could run again. Franken is no heavyweight. Minnesota has very strange voting patterns. They elected Humphrey and Mondale to be sure, but they also elected Rudy Boschwicz.
Let the libwafte in the great state of Minnessota put it’s trophies in full mantle view. The hardest choices to live with are the ones you have to live with.
Well....that was the first name that popped into my head. What about Pawlenty? That’s the problem.....these guys are too busy running for president.....instead of concentrating on taking out these lib senators. My focus in 2014 will be on the US Senate. If write any checks next year it will to US Senate candidates.
Я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это - кто и как будет считать голоса.
I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is thiswho will count the votes, and how.
---Joseph Stalin, 1923, as quoted in The Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary (1992) by Boris Bazhanov [Saint Petersburg] (Борис Бажанов. Воспоминания бывшего секретаря Сталина).
...as long as he wins like he has served—nobody knows he exists and we don't want anybody to know that he does...
...and we certainly don't wish for anybody to know he existed here...
...he is the crazy uncle in the closet—vote with Reid, speechify sometimes, tell everyone something they will give five minutes attention like “Hey I am here and I matter!” then let the toad retreat to his slime irrelevance untill Minn gets the sense God gives a Banana Slug.
OK the best scenario I can come up with is that we are just going to wait for the revolution and we plan on killing all the traitors that’s why we are not wasting time running someone against this SNLPOS.
He hasn't already?
Right, I couldn’t think of his name and didn’t feel like looking it up. Him too.
How about Tim Pawlenty? He has the charisma of a gray brick, but he’d be an improvement.
He didn't lose the election. He lost the court battles.
Franken's was one of several "selected not elected" Senate seats Obama needed to push Obamacare through without debate. Dead Red Ted Kennedy's seat was another one.
El Rushbo lives in FL.