Just two months ago, Colleen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a tumor in the brain. On May 15th, she wrote “I have a feeling that I don’t have long to live.” But it was a shock to get the news, and to realize her July 2nd post was her last entry.
I’d been a faithful reader of her blog for months when I met her at the CD2 DFL convention. I was helping with registration. She wanted a visitor pass, but when she said her name, I thought she deserved a media pass. We struck up a long conversation on the importance of blogging and social media. Then, just two weeks later my wife and I met her in a Duluth skyway. We talked for a while then went our separate ways for the evening. As we sat down for dinner, I told my wife I wished we had invited her with us to dinner. But the next morning, I got to spend about an hour with her as we waited at the DFL State Convention for things to start. It was one of the highlights of my convention weekend.
I wish I could have known Colleen longer, and continued to see her at political events. As many of you know, she spent a lot of time working to get Mark Dayton elected. But all the time she supported Mark Dayton, she still supported the other great candidates with positive words and energy. That example of friendliness and helpfulness, regardless of the side is an example she set of how to maintain a strong DFL core. It is something as a blogging community we need to concentrate on. Blogger Holly Cairns has been stressing that fact since I first got to know her.
Blogging can be used for serious and organized promotion, and Colleen did that, although to her it was just a fun thing for her to do. Below is her last real blog post. Colleen will not only be missed by her family and close friends, but will be greatly missed by the entire progressive blogging community and the political campaigns she came in contact with.
Thank you Colleen.
THREE DFL CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR
June 28, 2010, 7:02 AM
All DFLers will have to decide very soon who they are going to vote for to be our next governor. How will each Primary voter decide? Here are the usual ways, not in any particular order.
2. Name recognition
3. Endorsed candidate
4. Voter contact on the campaign trail
5. Videos and websites
6. Personal charisma (which includes how much the voter “loves” the candidate; you hear a lot of that on Facebook and on the campaign trail
7. Past success in political experience
8. Whether the voter even wants to vote in the Primary, or whether the voter is too fed up with politics to do so. What the percentage is of voters who actually show up at the Primary makes a big difference in who gets elected.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher – Kelliher obviously knows all the issues inside and out. She has no problems whatsoever there. She is gaining some name recognition but doesn’t have nearly as much as Dayton. Will her DFL cohorts and supporters donate enough money for her to win this campaign? If so, they’d better get hopping.
I’ll just meander down the list for each candidate. This is better than trying to walk slowly down the hallway while holding on to the wall.
Kelliher is obviously the endorsed candidate, which does give her an edge. Will it be enough? Keep tuned…
Kelliher’s voter contact on the campaign trail does not seem to be as good as Dayton’s. Dayton is all over the place. Not only that, but everyone already knows who he is.
Videos are excellent from the Dayton Campaign…websites not so good at all.
Personal charisma is something you never heard many people talk about with regard to Mark Dayton. He’s doing something right now, though, because everywhere I go I hear people (mostly women) say “I love him!” While Kelliher’s momentum is growing, she just doesn’t have that personal charisma that people look for. Like R. T. Rybak has, for example.
Past success in political experience was exceptionally good with Margaret Anderson Kelliher. She knows an incredible amount about Minnesota politics. As far as knowledge and experience, she can definitely get the job done.
It sure seems that there are a lot of people who are disillusioned with the world of politics. The best thing to do is to get out there and get your people to vote!
Matt Entenza – Matt is very good on clean, green energy. He has some great ideas in that area. He’s also excellent on GLBT and equality issues. He’s good on creating new jobs.
As far as name recognition, I don’t see Matt as having much of that. It just isn’t there. Oh, I’m sure it is in many circles, but a lot of people still don’t know who Matt Entenza is. I don’t know how he’s going to change that.
As we all know, Matt is not the endorsed candidate. That distinction belongs to Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
I’m pretty sure that Entenza has a lot of voter contact on the campaign trail. But where are his particular campaign trails? I don’t hear much about him at all from my non-political circle of acquaintances (yes, folks, I do have a lot of friends who are not political!) When I ask if they were going to vote for him, they didn’t even know who he was.
Matt Entenza probably has the best collection of campaign videos. I would rate his website as the best of all three of the candidates.
Personal charisma is not one of Entenza’s strong points. He’s very soft spoken, which means he’s a nice guy, but not exactly your top charismatic person. Of Minnesoa politicians, that honor would definitely have to go to R. T. Rybak.
Entenza has a lot of political experience. Unfortunately, some of it is considered distasteful by many people. I wish these people would learn the truth of the matter. I stuck up for Matt when someone was saying rotten things about him. The guy called me a liar. Go figure. Some people just don’t want to listen to truth.
Mark Dayton – Mark is very good on almost all the issues. After all, he was a U. S. Senator and had to know a lot about a lot of different things. He’s big on Senior issues, of course. Remember how he took busloads of seniors to Canada so they could get the prescription drugs at lower cost? He’s always been an advocate for seniors. He’s always been a friend of GLBT, as well. He stood up on the Senate floor in favor of the right of two people who love each other to get married, no matter what their gender. Another issue that he is very interested in is education.
Name recognition? Mark Dayton? That’s almost funny. There’s probably only a handful of people in Minnesota who don’t know who Mark Dayton is, and those are no doubt under the age of twelve. They’re just too young to know.
We all know that Mark is not the endorsed candidate. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is. Still, there are plenty of examples over the years where the endorsed candidate did not win.
Mark has been all over Minnesota on the campaign trail. He drove 9,000 miles across Minnesota. He stopped in towns all over and met people in coffee shops and other interesting places. He has successfully reintroduced himself to Minnesotans.
Mark is starting to get some pretty good videos. There’s one called “9,000” miles, which you can find on his website.
Personal charisma is not an area that Mark excels at. He’s an introvert; standing up in front of a lot of people is difficult for him, especially during the question/answer portion of a forum. I give him a lot of credit, though, for doing something that doesn’t come naturally to him. I’ve also noticed that he’s made many, many improvements as a public speaker. I was surprised, proud and happy to see that he made a huge effort to improve in this area.
Obviously Mark Dayton has the most political experience of any of the candidates. He ran three Minnesota State Commissioner offices. He was U. S. Senator. The list goes on.
So now it’s up to you, dear voters. The best thing you can do to ensure we get a DFL governor is to pick a candidate and then campaign for that candidate. You can door knock, do mailings and other clerical work, attend Meet and Greets, have a house party for your candidate, or have a fund raiser for the candidate. There’s a ton of ways to help out. Call your candidate’s office to volunteer. You can also volunteer on their websites. So let’s all rally round one of these three candidates and make sure out next governor is DFL.