Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

State Fair

This is big for the Independence Party, and yet there is very little that we as supporters can do to make something happen. The State Fair set-up will be good, the candidates will give the public a great opportunity to hear them out at both the booths and media appearances throughout the fairgrounds. And come Labor Day, we will know something about this race that up until now was impossible to know. Is the public ready to say to hell with Gay Marriage Bachmann and Bumbling Wetterling? Is the public ready to "just say no" to the DFL in the 5th CD? Is the public ready to make a change on Summit Avenue and if so, is Peter Hutchinson the change they want to get behind? And finally, will the rest of the public, as they get to know Robert Fitzgerald, have the same reaction as most everyone I've met along the way, and get behind his US Senate campaign?

While Jesse Ventura's victory cannot be the only model to look at, you will recall that at this time in '98, he was a solid third option, but as Norm Coleman put it best, "Let's be relativistic here: in November, the voters are going to choose between me and Skip Humphrey." It wasn't until the end of the Fair that anybody thought Ventura might have a chance, and while the media then began to take him very seriously, they still considered him an extreme long shot. At the end of the Fair we will still be seen as extreme long shots unless something unpredictable happens, but this is "make or break" time for the Independence Party candidates to get on the map and become real players in November.

The nervous energy I’m feeling is worse than election day, as I know anything can happen and I have very little control over it. Or maybe that nervous energy has more to do with the fact I have a date on Saturday.


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