Doran and the DFL
Doran was always a bit of a long shot but he was spending serious money, and I liked his more centrist approach. With him gone the other three can avoid spending big bucks in the primary contest and keep their powder dry for the general election.
Pawlenty hasn't been a horrible governor, but he has spent a lot of time trying to recover from various mistakes, such as his "no new taxes" pledge, his various flirtations with social conservatives and the tobacco "it's a fee, it's a tax" debacle. He also must answer for the budget gimmicks used to balance the state budget, notably taking inflation into account for revenue projections but not for spending and pushing the tax burden down to local governments, effectively financing the budget with increased property taxes.
But the DFL needs to learn from past mistakes, too.
Confession time: I voted for Jesse Ventura. I didn't really mean to; but I got into the voting booth and just couldn't bring myself to pull the lever for either the colorless Skip Humphrey or the self-serving Norm Coleman. Ventura spoke bluntly, and generally expressed common sense. "How much harm could he do?" I asked myself, and thus did my part to force the Chinese to come up with a word for "feather boa."
The problem with the DFL in that election was that they nominated a party stalwart who had "earned" the nomination through his party work -- ignoring minor matters like electability.
Four years later, they did it again. Roger Moe was a nice guy, but he really gave no reason why he should win the governor's post. With Tim Penny splitting the vote, Pawlenty won another three-way race.
The question is, will the DFL make it a trifecta? Will Mike Hatch get the nod simply because he's been the party leader by default for the last four years?
Hatch is another generally good guy, but there's not a whole lot to point to in his stint as Attorney General that makes me say "man, that guy should be governor." Lourey and Kelley have their own problems, which I will get into as the primary race heats up. But at least they quicken my pulse a little bit.
Of course, the biggest fool in the story is state GOP honcho Ron Carey:
GOP state chairman Ron Carey said "the race for governor is now between four liberals and one common-sense reformer, Governor Pawlenty. ...[The] early exit from the race further underscores how difficult it is for centrists to find a warm welcome in a DFL Party dominated by far-left activists."
What a maroon. I'm not really sure why Carey acts like a clone of former RNC chief Ed Gillespie, but it barely worked for Ed, who had dozens of red states to draw support from. Mindless labeling might play well elsewhere, but in an educated swing state it's just mindless.
Doran, Ventura, Kelley, Lourey, Hatch, Pawlenty, governor, Minnesota, politics, midtopia