...busting up my brains for the words

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Then why did we lose?

The other night I attended my local Republican precinct monthly meeting. There weren't many of us there, but we focused the energy of the recent national contest through our prism.

It was a lively meeting and we discussed all the topics that were pressing upon our minds in the immediate wake of the general election. At one point, early on, the acting chair was asked to describe the reelection effort. He dutifully praised its energy, its intelligence, effectiveness.

But this left a question wide open for the asking and I spoke up;

May I ask a question?

Of course.

Then why did we lose Minnesota?

If Minnesota were the deciding factor of the presidency John F. Kerry would be the 44th president of the United States.
I ran into considerable denial from the group that we had, indeed, lost Minnesota. Somebody claimed that we had not. Greater Minnesota had been won by the GOP.
Okay. I don't think so. The GOP lost 13 offices in the state.

MoveOn was blamed.
But how? I would postulate that MoveOn was so extreme and shrill in direct oppostion to American values that they did more to win the White House for the Republicans than lose.

Why, then did we lose? I had assumed that W would narrowly win in this state. But we had to win, as so much energy was brought to bear upon the effort. And W, himself, came to Minnesota many times, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney, Laura Bush, Rudy Giuliani and others.

The final analysis seemed to gravitate toward a more basic truth of Minnesota. This is traditional, tribal Democratic turf. This is the land that Hubert H. Humphrey tilled.
The roots of tradition run deep here. I think a lot of people voted for John F. Kerry simply because they call themselves Democrats and this is Minnesota.

The chair spoke the truth when he said, I think they outgunned us.

We can't really give Minnesota much credit for being a state where people vote with their heads. We elected a professional wrestler as our governor in the recent past.

And this year the state went with John F. Kerry.


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