Tuesday, November 08, 2005


As one of the housemates said tonight, "The only Democrats that are sad tonight are the one's thinking about running for President not named Mark Warner."

With Democrats winning in Governors Races in New Jersey and Virginia, and HUGE sweeps by RT Rybak and Chris Coleman (both won by about 2:1) there are a lot of happy Democrats around the country.

But Democrats in Minneapolis's 2nd Ward aren't as happy tonight. In the ward that contains the University of Minnesota and approximately 25,000 18-22 year olds, the self-proclaimed party of young people chose a candidate who's idea of reaching out to young people was to create one intern position for each semester. That's right, bringing young people into the political process, 3 interns a year.

In contrast, the person she beat out for the endorsement (whose campaign I worked on) was a 26 year old that was articulate, dynamic, engaging, hopefull, and had a comprehensive vision for the city. All of which were qualities the "winner" lacked--or at least couldn't convey.

I have to admit that I'm happy she lost. Not because she beat the candidate I was working with, but because of what her victory represented. It was a triumph of the insipid over the innovative. It was a victory of the middling over the exceptional. Worst of all it was a victory of "It's-my-turn politics" over meritocracy.

I realize it was a small election of smaller potatos in the grand scheme of things--even in the scheme of off-year elections in Minnesota. But I hope that the Minnesota DFL takes notice of what happens when it facilitates or encourages people to run for office when they convey an image as frumpy as the issues they promote.

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