I spent a Saturday morning, and half the afternoon, at my local senate district endorsing convention. It was the first time I had ever participated in anything other than a caucus.
I realize why more people do not participate in these activities. It was disorganized and a little annoying doing all of the little things that need to be done in the endorsing and nominating process, but in the end, it was a blast.
To select our 15 state delegates from the 89 senate district delegates, we began a process called walking sub-caucuses. The sub-caucuses are proposed using a candidate and an issue, for example, there was Labor for Hatch, Rowley for Ethics, Klobuchar for Minnesota, Klobuchar/Hatch/Rowley (the one I joined) and many more. There was a ten minute period to join a group and make it viable. In this case, you needed at least 6 people to be viable, which meant you had one delegate for your group.
As we started, all these people who were not delegates started getting involved and organizing. They were people from different campaigns trying to ensure their candidate got as many delegates as possible. It was great. It made the entire dull 5 -6 hour process worthwhile.
The other great thing that happened was meeting Coleen Rowley. I will admit that I was on the fence in terms of supporting her. The problem was that I was equally as hesitant about Sharon Marko’s candidacy. I still was not impressed by either of them after they spoke to our delegation. However, Coleen Rowley is a resident of our district, and returned to our meeting after she made the rounds to the other conventions.
I had the opportunity to meet with her in a group for about 20 minutes, and spent a couple minutes talking to her one-on-one. I can’t imagine being more impressed by a candidate. I still have doubts about her electability. Admittedly, the reasons are rather shallow. I don’t believe she is as polished as a politician should be to beat John Kline. That is a nice way to say, she needs to update her hair style and wear more professional style clothes. She also seems to speak too loudly on TV or giving a speech. See? Shallow. But in a small group, and one-on-one, she was great. I told her I had been undecided until that point, but told her I will do everything I can to get her elected.
You know, Paul Wellstone wasn’t very polished either when he ran for senate the first time…