Rep. Keith Ellison makes me stop and think about my 2010 choice for Governor

I know I am a little jealous of DFLers in CD5.  They have Keith Ellison as their Representative, while those of us in CD2 cope with John Kline as our Congressman.  Representative Ellison is a true representative of his district.  He is not just a congressman from the district.  Ellison strongly advocates for what he believes in, and he works hard to support both his district and the state.
As far as I know, Representative Ellison is the first congressperson to endorse a candidate.  I recently saw a video posted on Facebook that featured Rep. Ellison talking about endorsing Matt Entenza.  Something occurred to me as a watched the video.  It wasn’t why is Keith Ellison endorsing Entenza?  It was why didn’t he endorse somebody else? 
“Minnesota Central” made the comment on a recent poll blog that maybe we shouldn’t ask who we would vote for, rather we should ask who we feel should terminate their campaign.  Rep. Ellison has already done that and answered the final question.  He has eliminated at least nine other candidates, three of which he served with in the house, Kelliher, Thissen and Rukavine, and his mayor, Rybak. 
It is interesting that he didn’t do the “safe” thing by stepping back and waiting to see who emerges.  He is confident enough in Entenza that that he already has endorsed him.  Ellison must knows something I don’t know — let me rephrase that, Rep. Ellison knows a lot more than I know, and he knows most of the candidates.  He has decided to back Entenza. 
Does it make you stop and think?  I have narrowed my field down to a few candidates by eliminating candidates.  I have eliminated those candidates based on superficial reason. I don’t really know any of the candidates.  Why have I eliminated anybody?  I know these candidates politically, through seeing them on TPT or reading about them online or in the paper.  Everything I know about the candidates is second hand, or based on a politically “clean” presentation.  I don’t know them at all.
I’d love to invite them over for dinner, or watch a game with them.  But that isn’t feasible for the candidates, nor would they likely be their true selves.  Candidates are always on stage.  Being a good actor is important in an election, but being a good person is important to being a good governor.  How do we know who the good people are  if we don’t know them.  So I’ll ask the question that won’t be answered — what does Keith Ellison know that I don’t know about those other candidates?




5 thoughts on “Rep. Keith Ellison makes me stop and think about my 2010 choice for Governor”

    1. Thanks Tom. I apologize to the Kelley Campaign. Now I remember seeing that on the Politics in Minnesota Morning Report a few weeks ago, but it slipped my mind while I was composing this post. I really like Steve Kelley, but is it maybe an indication of where his campaign is in the crowded field of DFLers that I didn’t remember, nor have I seen anything since the initial announcement. Entenza and Kelliher have pages dedicated to endorsements. A congressional endorsement is a significant endorsement, and should be touted.

  1. I, too, have a lot of respect for Congressman Ellison … his commitment to universal healthcare is unwavering and he provides the counter-balance to Representative Bachmann’s CSPAN nighttime speeches.

    I thought Congressman Ellison made it quite clear in his endorsement letter … years of friendship bound by commitment to progressive causes.

    That said, since the Congressman made his announcement in early May, Entenza has not really garnered an avalanche of support .. State Reps. Sheldon Johnson, Cy Thao, Tim Mahoney, Carlos Mariani and State Senator Dick Cohan from Saint Paul plus State Reps. Bobby Joe Champion from Mpls., Gene Pikowski from Winona, and Jean Poppe from Austin.
    Thus the question might not be what does Congressman Ellison know, but why have so few others that worked with Entenza in the legislature failed endorsed him ?

    I thought that Entenza’s decision concerning his aborted AG campaign was very wise : “In 2006, the reality was that I had a choice,” said Entenza “Was it in the best interest of the party to have a conflict between two people at the top of the ticket?”

    That’s the same decision that other candidates must make when it comes to the endorsing convention and primary. I appreciate that a candidate has the right to take it to the primary, but they should have a significant presence during the endorsing convention. If a candidate does not generate at least 25% during the early balloting, they should do what is “in the best interest of the party” and not pursue a primary campaign. Now, if a candidate has an ideology basis outside of the party’s core group, then a primary makes sense … for example, in the MN-GOP, Norm Coleman has broad appeal from the masses but not from the hardcore party faithful. So, just like when Alan Quist won the MN-GOP endorsement and moderate Arne Carlson prevailed in the primary, it is not unreasonable that Coleman could compete against Seifert in the primary and knock off the endorsed candidate. But is there that much difference in the DFL field … as you stated, you have whittled your choices down such that I suspect that you could easily support any of those left standing.
    Dayton and Entenza have both implied that they will take it to the primary … I would hope they would reconsider based on how they perform during the endorsing convention — especially, if the reason that they are running in the primary is not based on wide voter appeal but instead on their own personal financial capability.
    IF the MN-GOP does not have a contested primary, it is bad for the DFL. As the DFL eliminates strong candidates, the group of dissatisfied supporters grow … those dissatisfied supporters than may in-turn vote for the Independence Party candidate (once again, look at Coleman in the US Senate race when 63,203 McCain voters did not vote for him). The DFL has been on a losing streak ever since Ventura … with the IP getting 14% we’ve been stuck with Pawlenty.

    Thus, if there is not a significant philosophical difference in the DFL field, then support the candidate that will retain the most DFLers and appeal to the independent voters … the IP candidate is really the competition … the more votes the IP candidate gets, the better the MN-GOP fares.

  2. Rep. Ellison is my Congressman and I couldn’t be prouder of his work in Congress on my behalf and those of the citizens of CD5.

    With that said, I must respectfully disagree with my Congressman on the coming gubernatorial election. I’ve met everyone in the DFL field numerous times and I do like and respect them all on various levels. The one that stands out the most to me is Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Before his official entry in this race, he has polled extremely well and stood as the most open and well-spoken of the bunch alongside Thissen.

    Rep. Ellison’s statements about endorsing Entenza have been honest and his endorsing comes from years of friendship he and Entenza have shared. They’ve worked together on progressive causes for years and this endorsement is a reflection of that.

    My disagreement about this stems from the DFL drought on Summit Ave. going back to Rudy Perpich in 1986. The entire DFL field is very progressive with slight differences in policy and the pendulum of liberal ideology. Most of them would make good governors, but we need to focus on winning. Luckily the GOP field looks weak as political skills go and that can only serve to our benefit. Thank you.

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