Part One: A Tough Race
It's an exciting race.
Al Franken is neck and neck with Republican Norm Coleman. This has been an incredibly negative race in Minnesota. In the past, Al Franken has been both a comedian and an unabashed partisan writer and talk show host...there are those here who seem to be having a hard time seeing past that.
And yet, Minnesota is facing a looming unemployment crisis. A quick search of the Rochester Post Bulletin's website reveals more than one story on this topic. Not only are laid-off workers facing a tough job market here in the state, but the problem is hitting many different types of jobs and tiers of employment. This is a time for action and change. Barack Obama does not need to face more opposition in the U.S. Senate as he tries to bring that change.
Now, Norm Coleman has been dragged into a dirty Texas Lawsuit in which one Republican businessman in the Lone Star State accuses a Norm Coleman Supporter of pressuring him to make payments to companies with ties to Coleman and his family.
The truth will not be known for a while, but rather than confirm or deny the substance of the allegations, Coleman immediately blamed FRANKEN for the mess he was in....although the Franken campaign denies even knowing about the suit until it hit the papers, and Coleman couldn't come up with any evidence to prove that Franken or his campaign was involved.
I'm fairly new here in Minnesota, but frankly, that's about all I needed to know about Norm Coleman...this sounds like it's right from the Karl Rove "Bait and Switch" playbook....when your hands are dirty, wipe them on someone else.
The big question now is: While Minnesota have time to see through Norm Coleman?
Part Two: DFL HEADQUARTERS Just like Family
So, full of righteous indignation about the perfidy of Republicans when cornered, I made my way back to DFL headquarters to knock on more doors for Obama, Franken, and Tim Waltz.
Let me tell you, these folks here in Minnesota know how to do things right! When I entered, I was checked in by Jennifer- who has the best Obama campaign regalia anywhere. She's even painted her fingernails for change! It's awesome!
I learned that Jennifer is a fellow blogger. Her's is entitled: "Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion." Let's hope that tomorrow the rest of the country agrees with her on that!
Next, Tim Walz- former National Guardsman, High School Teacher, Football Coach and now Congressman from the 1st District- arrived with his wife, Gwen, (not pictured) and gave another great speech from the hip. Gwen is a terrific speaker in her own right, and took the opportunity to inspire the crowd with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr: "The Moral Arc of the Universe is long but it bends toward Justice." Good words to inspire us as we hit the streets.
After, as Walz passed through the crowd, I got the chance to tell him how impressed I'd become with his campaign in such a short time. When I mentioned I'd recently moved from Vermont, he immediately responded with: "Peter Welch! Great, great guy. Good congressman." Felt good to hear.
My experience going door to door was much the same as it was the first day...although I am getting more comfortable doing it. Many people are concerned by the direction the country has been heading in, and are looking for a chance to vote for something better.
And again, the fall weather is warm and beautiful...color still clinging to the trees and the geese flocking overhead.
And finally, back to campaign headquarters, where Mary, Carolyn and the rest of the kitchen volunteers have spent the day whipping up chili, grilled cheese sandwiches as thick as your thumb, and a host of other goodies to reward a worker for a good day's work.... I'm doing a lot of walking, but at this rate, I don't think I'm going to loose any weight.
As I arrived home, tired, but ready for one last push tomorrow my wife greeted me at the door, took one look at the campaign stickers all over my shirt and said: "Hello Honey! You look like the Back Bumper of a Car!"
Well, she has a point.
Good luck to us all Tuesday.