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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Norm Coleman's Other Tightrope

The Star Tribune reports on Norm Coleman's tightrope - trying to appear independent, while taking advantage of President Bush's fundraising ability. The question is whether President Bush will be an issue in next year's campaign. The democrats want to make the Senate race a referendum on Bush, and the Republicans are saying that next year. Matt Drake the Republican Party spokesman told the Star Tribune: "We're entering into a post-Bush world whether the Democrats like it or not."

Norm Coleman's problem is figuring out how to keep his base engaged, and also reach out to independent voters. Part of this is accomplished by going on talk radio shows - such as Hugh Hewitt, or the Northern Alliance Radio Network - and say one thing, while going on MPR and pitching things differently.

The losing Republican party chair candidate, Joe Repya has told me he is considering challenging Coleman for the Republican party endorsement. I think this action by Repya has hurt him with party faithful. Repya will make his final decision sometime in October.


Dan said...

The chief issue with Repya's open letter was calling for the Democrats (as part of an independent panel including media and lawyers) to participate in the auditing process. I think he's been boxed on the ears enough over that SNAFU to have had the lesson sink in.

"Party faithful" have another reason to dislike Repya. He isn't the incumbent. There are some who hold that the incumbent is golden, and must win no matter what if there's an R next to their name. Principles don't matter to some people.

To those faithful to principle, rather than blind allegiance to party, I suspect Repya is worth hearing out.