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  1. I have to agree with you, joe.

    the one thing that the campaign lacks, of course, would be good, charismatic candidates. Is it possible that these two things are cause and effect? If you, as a candidate, feel that your opponent is more charismatic than you, might you feel that the only way to win is to go negative? If you, as the candidate, feel that you are far more charismatic and appealing than your opponent, might you not be tempted to duck the debates and the specifics, and run solely on charisma and your $400.00 haircut?

    just speculating…..

  2. PM, I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I think you’re onto something. These three candidates probably didn’t fear each other’s mediocre stage presence, so why not debate?

  3. This is the point of October where we traditionally whine about how tired we all are about politics.

    It’s not that I’m tired of politics. It’s that I’m tired of political ads. They’ve become inescapable.

  4. huh, quote fail. Hopefully y’all get my point.

  5. I’m also tired of the shrillness of much of the commentary (Fox in particular–Beck talking about the fate of the republic hanging on the outcome, etc.)

    • You clearly know nothing of the national debt and its looming and dire impact on all of our lives (liberals’ lives too).

      • “Today, Republicans believe that deficits are nothing more than something to ignore when they are in power and to bludgeon Democrats with when they are out of power.”

        http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1632/reagans-tax-increases

        that is from a long time Republican, who played a central role on the Sainted Reagan’s economic’s team.

        He further notes that really the only way out of the situation we are in is increased revenues–cutting spending will not do much of anything to solve the deficit problem:

        http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1929/end-unsustainable-debt

      • I agree. The Republican Congress during the Bush years were completely irresponsible — as were the Dems, but the Republicans were in charge and acted like idiots.

        A number of economists would disagree with him about the revenue vs. spending side. Neither will do the trick alone. To ignore spending is to ignore what got us here.

        As John Steele Gordon noted in his wonderful book “Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt,”

        “Hamilton conceived of the national debt as a strategic instrument of national policy to be used to protect and advance the interests of the nation. In the last several decades, however, it has not been used for that purpose. Rather it has become nothing more than an escape valve for political pressure. As such it has not served the strategic interests of the nation but the day to day interests of politicians.”

        Gordon goes on to speculate that is why both parties oppose a flat tax — it would sharply curtail their power to make political bargains — the same reason they oppose total transparency in campaign contributions and getting rid of PACs and earmarks.

        It’s a well worn game that both sides play. The current broken tax system will not bring any more revenues in — 18 percent of GDP is about where it stays regardless of rates because of the complexity and bullshit that passes for our tax code.

      • The following graph is a very good visual analysis of the genesis of the deficit. As you can see, Obama’s stimulus, which many economists think was necessary to prevent a depression at a time when no one else in the economy was spending, is a small deficit driver.

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/09/business/economy/20090610-leonhardt-graphic.html

      • No doubt that much of the deficit problem was run up during the Bush years. However, Mr. Obama was a member of Congress, which actually approves the budget and throws in its own profligate spending.

        Once again, we get too caught up in the “one man syndrome.” Bush received too much blame for all that ails the nation, a position Mr. Obama now find himself.

        Turns out, they aren’t that different in policies, looking at the chart in the NYT.

        Here is take on Democrats from a six-term Democrat.

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303284604575582320752384384.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

      • Re: “Mr. Obama was a member of Congress, which actually approves the budget”

        It’s worth noting that Senator Obama voted against the $740 billion war in Iraq and the $2.5 trillion Bush tax cuts.

      • It is worth noting, but so is the fact that he has basically continued the same policies in Iraq.

        Also worth noting, then Sen. Obama voted for a budget bill that would have increased taxes on a family of four making more than $90,.000 and he voted “present” on Fannie and Freddie reform before the subprime meltdown.

      • Re: “(Obama) has basically continued the same policies in Iraq.”

        September 1, 2010

        Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. In his Presidential Address on Tuesday Night President Obama announced the end of combat operations in Iraq.

        He plans to pull all U.S. Troops out of Iraq by next year.

        The President said nearly 100,000 troops will come; however, an estimated 50,000 more will stay to train and back up Iraq Soldiers until the end of next year.

        He went on to say the U.S. has already closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis and moved a large amount of equipment out of Iraq. Iraq now controls its own security.

      • Yep. Like I said, he continued the Bush policies in Iraq. I’m guessing by your post you are assuming if Bush were president, he wouldn’t have done anything differently two more years down the road — big assumption.

        BTW, saw Bush throw out the first pitch in Arlington tonight. Now that’s a guy who looks at ease in an athletic venue — pretty damn good arm.

        Finally, how dare my old favorite leftie paper, the Strib, print something positive about the Tea Party from the Economist. Were those pigs I just saw fly outside my window?

        http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/106346663.html?page=1&c=y

      • Got it. When Obama can’t instantaneously clean up the massive mess left by Bush, then “the mess is Obama’s fault.” When Obama does make progress cleaning up the mess left by Bush, then “well, Bush would have cleaned it up if he was still in office.” Air tight.

      • No need to get defensive. Good grief, only a liberal would read “fault” into anything I wrote.

        I merely said that Obama continued Bush’s Iraq policy. I happen to think he did the right thing. This prickliness you exude reveals some thin skin.

  6. Another reason why this didn’t turn into a cage match was that both Emmer and Dayton had reputations for having temperament problems, so they put on a relatively calm and civil face to avoid aggravating those concerns.

  7. Thank God, only five more days to go before the end of the ads and the phone calls, door knocking etc.

  8. Braublog had a good take on this same subject today.

  9. My email will drop to a dribble ater the election and I don’t know what I’ll do with the time saved from hitting DEL.

  10. For those complaining about the lack of charisma in the race, I have two words: “Jesse Ventura.” Now are you reconciled?

    • Well, clearly charisma isn’t everything….

      I do have to say that I am a bit disappointed that Linda McMahon isn’t doing better–after the success of Jesse, i am surprised that other states aren’t turning to their respective wrestling stars.

  11. There is another example of terrific political reporting from Minnposts David Brauer today. He and Eric Black have been digging into poll methodology in a way few reporters, locally or nationally, do.

    P.S. Great analysis from Minnpost’s Doug Grow today as well. When Minnpost started, I wasn’t sure Minnpost was going to add much to the journalistic landscape, but it definitely has. Their political coverage has been stellar.

    • Brauer is always great, especially when he’s writing about us. :)

      And that piece — or series of pieces, really — by Grow is outstanding. Thanks for sharing that one.

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