Can you tell I am excited about the NCAA Basketball Tournament? I am only part of two NCAA bracket competitions, neither of them for money thankfully because I usually lose to the person who watches no college basketball. Anyway, in my excitement for bracket challenges, I made my own bracket challenge with the DFL candidates for governor.
(Click on it for a larger image)
This bracket is in a way how I expected the DFL Endorsement process to go, with the expectation that my own sleeper pick would win the big dance.
The DFL State Convention is only three weeks away. In one sense, the games have already started. The play-in game has eliminated one team, but the number one seeds are pretty safe, at least during the first round.
Over the last year, I’ve seen all the major DFL candidate for governor, and I’ve met most of them, even if a couple might have just been an introduction and handshake. During that time, I decided to support Paul Thissen. I feel like he is the freshest candidate. He seems young despite his gray hair, is articulate, forward thinking and he communicates well. He is very intelligent, but he doesn’t have the intelligence arrogance others can have. He impresses people with his grasp of policy and his understanding of how it affects everybody. He is dedicated and hard working.
Those who support other candidates might say that describes their candidate too. That is the great thing about the number of decent candidates we have on the DFL side. But I will support Paul at the convention in a few weeks. That said, I am also pragmatic.
I expected more delegates to feel the way I feel about Paul. That hasn’t happened. I recently read John Marty has passed Paul Thissen to move into fourth place in the delegate count behind R.T. Rybak, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Uncommitted. The total delegates for candidates below Paul on the delegate count wouldn’t give Paul enough to pass Rybak or Kelliher if they all supported Paul. Granted, Uncommitted dwarves everybody else and anything can happen, but I know there are a lot of “committed” uncommitteds. I saw it at my Senate District Convention.
So being the pragmatic individual I think I am, I feel like I need to make a decision about who to support if Paul doesn’t make it to the later rounds of the endorsement process.
I’m not somebody who is going to support a candidate come hell or high water when I know that candidate will not win. I’m realistic. That bracket above is pretty indicative of my final decision. If you notice, I stopped at the final four. I didn’t go down to a final two. I’m having a really hard time deciding on the next best behind Paul.
Many of the candidates are good, and I could easily support any of them. In fact at one point, I probably had decided to support each of them before finally deciding on supporting Paul. The main factor that I think will influence my decision is electability.
Who is the next most electable of the final four after Paul?
R.T. Rybak is the most charismatic. Plus, he has the next most name recognition after Mark Dayton. In recent Rasmussen Polls he beats Emmer and is tied with Seifert. No other DFLer does. Even Dayton’s name recognition has him losing to Seifert. And worse, nobody else beats Emmer. That will obviously change if Emmer starts campaigning, but still… The problem: 30 second commercials with artistic water fountains and police cuts that can stick negatively despite truly being non-issues. Negative buzz words/phrases: Waste, the arts over safety, tax and spend liberal.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher has an Amy Klobuchar factor about her campaign. There is nothing flashy about her, but she is a good candidate and good communicator who will draw women, even ones that might normally vote Republican. She stands her ground on issues. She grew up a farm girl, but is an urban woman. The problem: 30 second commercials centered around the voter access file flap. Negative buzz words/phrases: Scandal, trust issues, manipulation, typical politician.
Matt Entenza… I like his personal story, I think he would do a great job, but there are a lot of negative vibes within his own party, let alone the barrage that would come from the right. He is definitely forth on this list.
So who do I choose? I probably won’t know until a few ballots into the endorsement process.
Who would you choose?