Norm Coleman's concrete shoes: George Bush comes to town
His Shrubness, George Bush, visited Minnesota yesterday to raise several truckloads of cash for the embattled Republican Senator from MN, Norm Coleman. Norm is trailing challenger Al Franken in fundraising and is barely leading both Franken and Mike Ciresi in the most recent polls. What was the reaction to the visit?
Our paper of record, the Minneapolis Star Tribune started out with just the facts on page B1 of the printed edition.
- President Bush used a three-hour stop Tuesday in Minnesota to squeeze in a briefing about Minnesota's back-to-back bridge and flooding disasters before heading off to a big-dollar fundraiser in Eden Prairie for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.
The rest of the article on B1 provided the details of what His Shrubness was told about the bridge and the floods without mentioning the protest. The protest was relegated to page B4.
- Democrats continued their verbal drumbeat trying to lash Coleman to an unpopular president.
"While the Republican Party has been trying to run away from President Bush, Senator Coleman has voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time," said DFL Chair Brian Melendez, who has spent months trying to paint Coleman as a Bush loyalist.
"When you have the poster boy show up and make your case, we love it," he said.
A pair of protests timed to coincide with Bush's appearance felt more like a summer picnic -- despite the seriousness of its purpose. Kites in rainbow colors -- painted with antiwar messages -- lay scattered on the grass on the north side of Bryant Lake, just across the water from the Austins' home.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press ignored the protests, but at least quoted from DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez saying "Sen. Coleman is too loyal to President Bush and not loyal enough to Minnesota."
- President Bush pledged "a flood of help" to those deluged by rains in southern Minnesota as well as a new, modern bridge to replace the collapsed Interstate 35W span during a visit Tuesday afternoon.
The president, who was in Minnesota largely for a long-planned fundraising event for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, was briefed soon after he landed in the Twin Cities by both U.S. senators for Minnesota, five members of the state's congressional delegation, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak about the two disasters.
Personally, I like the Eden Prairie News coverage the best. This picture sums up what the majority of Minnesotans think about His Shrubness and his occupation of Iraq.
Across the lake they were getting ready for a presidential visit.
That’s at least what we assume, since the private fundraiser Tuesday at the Eden Prairie home of William and Tani Austin for Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and attended by President Bush was closed to the press. (William Austin is chief executive officer of EP-based Starkey Laboratories, a manufacturer of hearing aids)
They were doing the same on the other side. Well, sort of.
Here, the reception was most likely a bit chillier than what Bush probably later received from those who donated anywhere from $1,000 per person to $14,600 a couple toward Coleman’s re-election bid (about $1.2 million was hoped to be raised, according to published reports) to get in the Austins’ door.
Fifty or so protesters, many clutching such signs as “Support the Troops, End the War,” gathered at Bryant Lake Regional Park to voice their displeasure with Bush, Coleman, and the Iraq War.
(Eden Prairie News)
The Rochester Post Bulletin noted Ciresi's radio ads.
- A day before President Bush's planned fundraising visit for GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, DFL Senate candidate Mike Ciresi launched a round of radio ads aimed at connecting the two Republicans on policy.
Ciresi's two ads were timed to the president's Tuesday visit, his campaign said Monday. They are the first of his campaign. They are running only on WCCO Radio, said campaign manager Kerry Greeley.
Here are what transcript I have of the ads.
Hopefully I can find the audio for y'all. The Ciresi campaign emailed them to me:
- Disaster ad mp3
The Ciresi for Senate Campaign unveiled today two radio advertisements. The radio spots, titled “Disaster” and “Results” highlight some of the failed policies of the Bush Administration that Senator Norm Coleman fully embraces.
The first ad, “Disaster” features Mike Ciresi discussing the war in Iraq. “The Iraq war has been one of the worst foreign policy disasters in history. I’m Mike Ciresi and I’m running for Senate because after 4 years, a trillion dollars and thousands of brave Americans killed and wounded, one thing is clear – getting us out of Iraq will take more than just talk – it will take experience and leadership.”
The advertisement states Ciresi’s opposition to the Iraq war, a failed policy of the Bush Administration that Senator Coleman supports by repeatedly voting for it. Norm Coleman’s inability to break from President Bush has made our nation and the world less secure and has turned Iraq into a training ground for terrorists.
The second ad, “Results”, highlights that fact that while health care and college costs are skyrocketing, President Bush and Norm Coleman give tax cuts to millionaires. The ad discusses that American’s middle class is getting squeezed and calls for change in Washington. The ad then highlights that Mike Ciresi has the experience and leadership to get results for middle class families.
“The President’s trip gives us an opportunity to remind people that he led us into war in Iraq under false pretenses, he has not shown leadership in trying to provide affordable health care for all our citizens and under his Administration, college students have amassed crippling debt the size of some home mortgages,” said Mike Ciresi. “We cannot also forget that President Bush hand picked Norm Coleman to run for Senate and that since his election, Norm has stood shoulder to shoulder with Bush on the direction this country should take.”
Franken responded too with this ad on YouTube.
Among the blogs, MN Publius were all over this since ... forever? Okay, maybe early August when the fundraiser for Norm was first announced. They were been getting more and more excited as the date got nearer.
- As Approval Falls Norm is Forced to Bring out the Big Guns
- In Case you’re not as Excited as Coleman is about Bush’s Visit
- Dude Hosting Bush-Coleman Fundraiser Sounds Like A Nice Guy
- Bush-Coleman Fundraiser Franken Responds
Dave Mindeman at mnpACT! noted:
- Going into the 2008, the evidence is pretty strong that the Republican party has no message to offer....especially in Minnesota. The Star Tribune article about the Bush fundraiser for Norm Coleman had this little tidbit:
GOP strategy calls for a relentless focus on Coleman's ultimate opponent -- particularly if it turns out to be former "Saturday Night Live" star Franken. Normally, reelection campaigns are referendums on the incumbent. But some Republicans say privately that a Franken candidacy would give them the chance to turn the race into a referendum on the DFLer's Hollywood connections and edgy comedic antics.
Lloydetta had this to say:
- 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.
(lloydetta's nooz and comments)