Tag Archives: Chris Coleman

Which DFL Candidates Connect With Us

Facebook and Twitter are important tools for candidates.  It surprises me that a couple of the candidates for governor are not utilizing the medium well, or at all.  Statewide campaigns end up being big machines, and the social networking sites are a great tool to either provide information or plan meetings.  The social network sites can even create mini-campaign machines for individuals to bundle information from the candidates they support to distribute to their friends.

While Facebook and Twitter seem to be a great tools for candidate’s information, I contend that the personal notes that can be posted have an effect in making a candidate more human, and less politician. 

If everything is campaign, campaign, campaign, people tune out.  But throw in a little personal note that normal people can relate to, and the candidate has made a connection.  Make a few connections and you have a chance to lasso a committed delegate.  That’s the current goal right now right, to have delegates going into the local conventions, making the pitch and working the walking caucus. 

Connections and friendship are what get people to work for a candidate, and feel that sense of required attendance at the caucus and conventions.  Facebook is such an easy way to do it.  Mark Dayton has made comments about his sons, grandfather and a family that adopted a few Russian kids recently.  Yes, it is all campaigning, but it isn’t pure propaganda, it’s personal.  And just think how impressed some people would be if a candidate commented on their post.

Of course I realize some candidates have people posting for them, I didn’t say we still need to trust them, I’m just saying it creates connection.  So what would connect us today?  Something interesting has happened over the last couple of days.  There have been many posts on Facebook about the Twins, the Vikings and Brett Favre, and to a lesser extent the Wild and Gophers.  Sorry Timberwolves fans, zero.  Anyway, people I don’t recall posting about sports have posted about those subjects, and it is the amount of sports related posts that made me think about the candidates and social networking.

I was curious which candidates were posting about these events of unimportance that seem to be important to so many of us.  I knew Mark Dayton and R.T. Rybak had posted sports related post what about the rest of the candidates? 

I looked at the post from the beginning of the month until just after the Twins win tonight.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Tom Bakk
“is pretty impressed with the stretch of Minnesota sports going on right now . . . Gophers, Twin, Vikings, Wild, and the TC Marathon. Rock on, MN.”

Chris Coleman
TC Marathon comment on Twitter

Mark Dayton
“Celebrating now! VIKINGS 30- Packers 23. 4th Quarter a little “too close for comfort.” Sidney Rice is an all-pro on-sides kick catcher!” Twitter
“VIKINGS 14-Packers 7, 2nd Q. Too early to celebrate, but #4 can still throw the ball!!!” Twitter
“CONGRATULATIONS, Twins, for your sweep of KC, & GOOD LUCK in Tuesday’s game against Detroit. Baseball at the Dome lives! AND GO VIKINGS!” Twitter

Matt Entenza

Steve Kelley
I don’t think he Tweets, and I am not friends on Facebook yet.

John Marty
“…enjoyed watching the Vikings win last night.” Facebook (by the way, that is so vanilla)

Tom Rukavina
“Brett Favre continues to show how much better he is for MN than T-Paw! Go Vikes!!” Twitter

R.T. Rybak
“Next up from the sports capitol of the world: Thunderdome, Part II. Go Twins!” Twitter
“Why do otherwise high-functioning people turn into Cheeseheads during Packer week? Clearly, a breach of border security.” Twitter

Paul Thissen
“Great Donkey Chili in Pine County – listening to Twins win and Metrodome memories on the way up & back to boot.” Twitter

Nothing really big, no earth shattering news or enlightenment, I’m just pointing out an example of a missed opportunity to connect.

My Dinner with R.T.

This evening I attended the DFL 2nd Congressional District Fundraiser held at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee. The event began with a golf scramble, and continued with a Health Care Forum, however, I didn’t attend those two events. I barely got to the fundraiser in time to sit down for dinner.

As we walked in, I saw several gubernatorial candidates, and several State House and Senate members, as well as a few of the candidates who are running for House and Senate. I said hello to Paul Thissen who was standing at the registration table, then we made our way into the dining area. There were no assigned seats, so we claimed a couple seats with a good view of the speaker’s podium. At one point Rebecca Otto was going to sit at our table, but was unsure of what seats were available. I was a little disappointed when she didn’t sit down, because I would have liked to talk to her. But, my disappointment disappeared when Mayor R.T. Rybak sat down with us at the table.

R.T. Rybak is very impressive. If I were hosting a party, I would love to have him there just to be part of the conversation. He is very personable and seems very intelligent. I realize people already know that, as did I, but I thought it was worth pointing out. I had a pleasant dinner talking to a personal trainer, Janet Frank Atkinson, Mayor Rybak and my mom.

There were many speakers. Steve Kelley was the first speaker. Steve was celebrating his 30-somthingth anniversary today, but came to speak quickly to the group before heading back to his family. Mark Dayton also had family commitments, but spoke for a couple minutes at the beginning of the event. Rebecca Otto spoke, but made it clear she is not running for governor. Then we took a break from the speakers for a live auction.

State Senator Kevin Dahle was the auctioneer. I was told that the normal auctioneer couldn’t come because of prior commitments, but was amazed when Senator Dahle began speaking like an auctioneer. It was impressive. One of the more popular items was a dinner for 8 at the restaurant of your choice with Mark Dayton. Mark Dayton made the joke that the only bad part of the deal was that he had to be one of the guests.

After the auction we had a break to eat and talk, before speakers began again. Lori Swanson kicked it off, not as a gubernatorial candidate, but as a candidate for re-election as Attorney General. The remaining gubernatorial candidates got two minutes each to speak. Margaret Anderson Kelliher spoke. She is a very good speaker. Tom Bakk was next, and unlike MAK, he had to introduce himself. Chris Coleman made a funny joke about one of the auction baskets. Matt Entenaza gave a typical Entenza quick speech, followed by Susan Gaertner. John Marty made the comment that Governor Pawlenty has done to the state what President George Bush did to the country. That got some applause. Mayor Rybak mentioned his family from New Prague, which connected him with Laura Brod in my mind, connected by town only. Rep. Thissen was the last to speak, emphasizing that we need to “think big” to ensure we win in 2010.

It was a fun evening, and great to get a little taste of the candidate’s two –minute stump speeches. I did like Mayor Rybak’s comment when he returned to the table: Two-minutes goes by really fast.

MNDem.com 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial Poll (2009 Mid-Summer)

Web polls for candidates tend to be more of a demonstration of organization than a truly meaningful anything.  But I love polls and statisitics, so I can’t help myself.

If you had to decide today, which candidate for governor would you choose?

The Poll ends Friday night.

Poll Results (Total votes 405):

Margaret Anderson Kelliher – 170 votes
Paul Thissen – 66 votes
Steve Kelley – 53 votes
Matt Entenza – 31 votes
R.T. Rybak – 20 votes
Susan Gaertner – 19 votes
Mark Dayton – 16 votes
Chris Coleman – 10 votes
John Marty – 7 votes
Another Party’s Candidate – 5 votes
A Different DFLer – 4 votes
Tom Bakk – 2 votes
Tom Rukavina – 2 votes


In the previous poll I did a few months ago, the top five finishers in order were Dayton, Marty, Thissen, Somebody Else and Entenza.  In that poll, I did not include Rybak, Coleman, Kelliher or Rukavina.

2010 DFL Gubernatorial Rankings

It is interesting how popular the 2010 gubernatorial race is when you consider we are a year away from a DFL endorsement, and several more months before a primary winner is declared. A testament to the popularity is the poll on the right sidebar of this blog. I have had a few polls up on the blog in the past, and think it was lucky to have double digit responses on one of them. A week into this gubernatorial poll, and there have already been (as of writing this post) over 30 votes.

My poll is a close match to the MN Progressive Project May Power Rankings that were posted today. Dayton and Entenza have a solid lead, and the rest are kind of bunched up. Personally, I agree with the MN Progressive Project rankings. I think Dayton and Entenza are the candidates to beat in the current field, but I think Rybak would move to the top of the list if he entered the race. So I have come up with my own rankings if all potential candidates compete. Not based on my choice, but based on how I think they will do at the caucuses, and ultimately in the endorsement process. I didn’t want to spend a paragraph analyzing each candidate, mainly because I don’t know enough about some of them to do it, but I have included a couple words for what I think are the pros and cons of each candidate:

  1. Rybak – Pro: Response to Bridge Collapse/T-Paw – Con: His socks/slightly goofy
  2. Dayton – Pro: Senator – Con: Closing his senate office
  3. Entenza – Pro: Strong high powered DFL support – Con: United Health Care/ Hatch Spying
  4. Marty – Pro: Healthcare/Environment – Con: Has shown he can’t win already, 1994 lost by 30 points
  5. Thissen – Pro: New blood – Con: Who is Paul Thissen?
  6. Coleman – Pro: Strong campaign staff – Con: The RNC
  7. Gaertner – Pro: Ramsey County Attorney – Con: The RNC
  8. Kelliher – Pro: 2007-2008 House Majority Leader – Con: 2009 House Majority Leader
  9. Bakk – Pro: Seems Tough – Con: Name Recognition Mainly in North
  10. Kelley – Pro: Old School DFL Name Recognition – Con: Is he becomming a perennial candidate?

Since there is interest, take a minute and check out where the candidates are speaking on their websites. We are getting close to the point where candidates start regularly showing up at meetings.

Upcoming Meetings:
2nd Congressional District Central Committee Meeting
Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 6:30 pm
Savage Library Meeting Room
13090 Alabama Ave S, Savage
(next to Savage USPO and City Hall)

Senate District 36 Get Together Potluck
followed by the Central Committee Meeting
Thursday, Jul 16, 2009
Rambling River Center, 413 3rd Street, Farmington.
Potluck starts at 6:00 pm. Anybody interested is welcome.