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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Will the Experienced Campaign Manager Resuscitate the Free-Falling Franken Campaign?

The Strib reports on Franken's new campaign manager.

Stephanie Schriock helped defeat a GOP incumbent in Montana two years ago.

Last update: May 15, 2008 - 10:17 PM

DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken said Thursday he hired as his campaign manager a top congressional aide who helped oust a GOP Senate incumbent two years ago.

Stephanie Schriock, a Mankato native, will begin her job in early June. Franken, who is seeking the DFL endorsement to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman, to date has been without an official campaign manager. Top campaign duties have been shared by David Benson and Andy Barr, who also serves as a spokesman.

Schriock is currently chief of staff for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., for whom she was campaign manager when he defeated Conrad Burns in 2006.

"I am honored to join Franken's campaign for change -- working with all Minnesotans to send another great progressive senator we can be proud of to Washington this November," Schriock said in a statement.

In response to a question, DFL executive director Andy O'Leary said he thought it was a little unusual for a campaign to wait to this point to name an official director, "but I don't think they've been without senior management. I would say there's been a steady hand or two on the rudder."

Was that an ironic statement by O'Leary? Franken's campaign will only change if this new campaign manager speaks up, and is able to get Franken to listen. The campaign clearly will need to invest in opposition research on Franken to make sure they are aware of issues like the tax situation, so they don't become huge stories.

Franken's campaign will also have to aggressively go after Coleman about his DCI contributions. That issue could have legs if used effectively.


Charley Underwood said...

With all the suggestions for Franken's campaign, I keep wondering why Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's candidacy gets mentioned so rarely. The assumption is that more money or better management will improve Franken's odds. It's possible, but I think unlikely. Franken holds little appeal to the DFL liberal base, and Franken's style often rubs mainstream voters the wrong way.

The candidate who could use a bit more cash and help from DFL insiders is actually Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. Jack has no negatives, no dirty laundry, no style problems. His grassroots campaign has performed miracles on a shoestring budget, cut will clearly need more cash if he gets the DFL state convention endorsement.

Jack could use a few union endorsements from unions that never even screened him before. He could use a few insider endorsements by those who earlier jumped on the Franken "inevitability" bandwagon before they noticed the cliff it was heading for.

I hope people wake up soon and considering pouring a few resources into the campaign of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, the candidate who is actually the most electable.

DavidD said...

How is JNP the most electable when he's so far behind Coleman in the polls? It's like saying Clinton should get the nomination because she is more "electable"? Wasn't John Kerry "electable"?

Does electable mean they will be the candidate who loses by the slimmest margin?

All that said, I support neither Franken nor Coleman at this point.