First, context: Republicans won nationwide on a scale not seen since 1938. More than 60 seats in the House and at least 7 in the Senate. On the national state level, republicans gained legislatures and governorships in unprecedented numbers. Locally, republicans gained control of both chambers of the Minnesota legislature for the first time since before the dawn of creation and against any reasonable expectation. In some sort of Hollywood movie, Chip Cravaak defeated the ossified, entitled, Congressman-for-life James Oberstar in Minnesota's CD 8. Know hope, to quote that idiot Andrew Sullivan. There, dear reader, is your context.
Into this amazing and refreshing conservative environment we must face facts and welcome Governor Dayton. It fairly kills us to say this but we are not the denial type. There will be a recount by operation of law due to the closeness of the race but MC is not in doubt about the outcome. Nor, to our extensive knowledge, are any serious political observers. We understand the political expediency of Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb's efforts to stoke up energy and focus on the recount. That isn't the point of this post. The point is:
Who Lost The Governorship?
First, Tom Emmer and his campaign staff. How could this not be said? For almost two months after his endorsement at the state convention the campaign was a textbook exercise in how not to run. Servers making $100,000 and "tip-credit" dominated the summer months. Some on our side said it was a teaching moment. What? At the same time they told us that voters were not paying attention to the pratfalls and would not be remembered by the average voter. Well, which is it? Because both cannot be true at the same time. Senator Amy Klobuchar warmed up the crowd at the Obama led rally last month by reminding the crowd of Emmer's views on servers. The rally was in October. The comment made in July. Thank God that storyline didn't have legs. Town hall seppuku: it was actually a considered decision by Team Emmer. Sorry about those pennies from, er, heaven. Or whatever.
Eventually (cough) the campaign tossed out its tone-deaf, never-run-a-statewide-campaign-before leadership and brought in Norm Coleman's people. Norm Coleman's. We can hear certain of our friends choking as they read this. Good.
Tom Emmer and the campaign improved markedly. Here's the pity: we know Tom. Love him (in a conservative, uptight, don't touch me sort of way) and think he should have won. One half of MC even spilled beer on him more than a year ago (long story; saving the rights for big money from the National Enquirer) and he's teased us ever since. The nice guy lost and we are not happy.
MC wonders what would have been different if Tom had had his current team in place from the outset. Well, we won't be coy: he'd have won. But . . . .
Purity people would not have stood for this until a crisis. The same people who outfoxed Marty Seifert and Ben Golnik at the convention. Once Norm's people were in place they were rather quiet. For the life of us, MC couldn't get them to utter RINO about Tom. Odd, no? And they say RINO so recklessly otherwise.
Where is Vin Weber? Brian Sullivan? Laura Brod? [see reader's comment below about Brod's participation] Those three were big names in getting Emmer the endorsement (note to DFL readers: our endorsement actually means something; yours is more like something Christine O'Donnell would tell you not to engage in). Their absence in the campaign should be held against them. Thanks for nothing.
Only a day after the moving hand has written on the wall MC is seeing (Twitter!) the usual suspects run from any responsibility for the outcome. We're having none of it. Yes, we thought Seifert more electable. Thank god the Palin endorsement proved us wrong.
We wrote about this day two weeks ago: Prepositioning The Scapegoats. Damn we're good: it's all coming to pass as we predicted.
Only the "First Principles" group has no standing to speak to the rest of us in the Minnesota republican party. You told us we were wrong, or worse. You were full of yourselves. You believed your own insular hype. And in the republican tsunami of 2010 you turned Minnesota from red to blue. We don't want to hear from you for a very long time indeed. You deserve your silence but we doubt you have the grace to observe it.
Who lost the governorship? The Minnesota republican purity people. You know who you are.
So do we.
Update: Cindy Brucato has a post mortem on the campaign: http://tinyurl.com/27sr5rl