I was at a political gathering again on Saturday, and I really shouldn’t have been there. I’ve been passed by and I should move on to other things.
by Charlie Leck
I was with a Minnesota Democratic Party wonk the other day, over a little breakfast at the wonderful Country Cupboard in Long Lake (for a real treat try Emily’s French Toast). Among other things, the sheer craziness of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was a matter of conversation. We all had a few good laughs about the nutty dame, but grew pretty serious and forlorn when the wonk pointed out that she was probably unbeatable in District 6.
“They like her up there! What can I say?”
I could tell that at least one of us sitting in the little restaurant wanted to slay the messenger.
“How can it be?” I asked.
“Well, it's just that they’re a certain kind of people up there. It’s pretty easy to frighten them. They believe most anything. Of course, on top of that, it’s going to be a bad year for Democrats, period!”
“What can we do?”
“I wish I could tell you that there was something, but I don’t think there is. Look at the gaffe she made two years ago and how she opened the door for her opponent. She still won going away!”
I nibbled on my French-Toast in silence, withdrawing from the conversation to sulk.
The woman has been going around, lately, and telling people that Obama wants to put a complete ban on fishing. (I dropped my fork in my plate. The other guys looked over at me as if I’d keeled over.) Of course, she comes from a big sport fishing district. I sat there, pushing my breakfast around from one side of my plate to the other, wondering how people can just believe such flat out lies; and I also wondered how anyone can tell such falsehoods with a straight face.
From there we went on to a state senate district convention up at the high school. Most of the gubernatorial candidates were going to show up to speak, as were the two candidates for the Democratic endorsement to run for Congress in our district. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak seemed to be the strongest candidate for Governor among the delegates. I hope he gets endorsed. He’s energetic, a good speaker, bright and right on the issues as far as I’m concerned. He’s done a good job as a mayor. I think he’d be a good governor.
It’s almost like he was standing behind me, looking over my shoulder as I typed. The phone just rang. It was his honor, himself, calling. He said that it was good to chat with me on Saturday and that he appreciated my pledge of support. Of course, with that he said came some responsibility to pitch in. He said they were in a very expensive portion of the campaign and they needed some money to keep going.
“Of course,” I said, “I can understand that.”
He suggested a number. I suggested one a bit lower, but promised some more if things went well in the coming weeks.
He closes well. So, he’s a good salesman, too.
I was also impressed with one of the candidates for the congressional seat in our district, Maureen Hackett. I’ve written about her here before. She gave a whopping good speech at the convention on Saturday. She looks a little bit like one of the characters in Star Trek, but one, of course, can’t have everything, you know.
Politics is rolling again in Minnesota. I know I’ve pledged to stay away from it – to leave it alone – to heal my wounds; however, it is like the boozer who sees that unattended bottle of whiskey just sitting there for the taking. It’s hard to stay away from the lure of it.
I nominated myself for a state convention delegate spot. I was soundly beaten by a lot of young people. My heart wasn’t in my little campaign speech. I’ve got no fifth gear left on my transmission and things even get pretty shaky when I get into fourth. The kids who’ll go up there to the state convention will be like I was at my first – pretty uninformed and without knowledge of the ropes and strings and how to pull them. But, that’s all right. The Democratic Party in this state is in good hands. If only we could figure out how to do three things: (1) elect a governor; (2) defeat Michele Bachman; and (3) win the congressional seat in the 3rd district.
I’ll probably limit myself this year to writing a few letters on behalf of candidates and giving them a few bucks here and there. I’ll try really hard not to get so frustrated.
I’ve got a good idea for a short story. I think I’ll begin work on it this morning.