Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Obama coming to Minnesota… but for offense or defense?

WASHINGTON — President Obama will be coming to Minnesota sometime before Election Day, White House officials have confirmed, though exactly when and for what remains a mystery.

An administration official confirmed that Obama has added a stop in Minnesota “for a political event in the next two months” to his schedule. The New York Times, which first reported the visit, said it would come “over the next six weeks.”

The thing to watch will be where Obama visits and what he does while he’s here. Minnesota’s 6th District (incumbent Republican Michele Bachmann vs. Tarryl Clark) is a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats, while the 1st (incumbent Democrat Tim Walz vs. Randy Demmer) is a potential defensive liability. Essentially, is this a trip to pick up House seats, or to hold them?

Now, I’ve had an informal bet for months that if Obama came he’d go to Rochester and tour the Mayo Clinic. It makes sense as part of a national strategy to defend the health care law but also to defend Walz and other vulnerable Democrats who happened to vote for that measure.

But there’s a line of logic that sees Obama go into the 6th. If your aim is to paint the entire GOP with the Tea Party brush, where better to make that case than in the home district of the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus? That would represent an offensive attack against Republicans, especially Bachmann.

Option three, of course, is to stay in the Twin Cities. In that case, it would be instructive to watch the president’s speech, see what his message is and who he’s raising money for. Most of Obama’s trips thus far have mixed public speeches with private donor parties and that’s what I’d assume for this trip as well until told otherwise.

Note: This would be President Obama’s second trip to Minnesota since his inauguration, according to unofficial White House Press Corps statestician Mark Knoller of CBS Radio. His last one came in September of last year, when he rallied a Target Center crowd in an effort to speed the passage of health care reform.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 09/07/2010 - 07:33 am.

    Typhoid Barry just hit Milwaukee on Labor Day, and Senator Feingold, who voted against the Obama/Franken/Klobuchar/Wall Street Fin/Reg Bill, made sure he was sixty miles away in Janesville, Wisconsin, for a parade. Feingold then damned the Big Odog with faint praise, “I support everything he is trying to do”, meaning he has done nothing except destroy the United States of America.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/07/2010 - 02:13 pm.

    This afternoon, I heard a Democrat congressional candidate from Pennsylvania say he was declining the offer of a PBO stop because “all politics are local” this year.

    Nicely put(down).

    I’m guessing the only MN Democrat clueless enough to welcome a PBO photo op is my Rep., Betty McCollum….but with Democrats, one never knows.

  3. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 09/07/2010 - 11:27 pm.

    We all know that political winds shift directions and public moods are fickle. And only fools rush to judgment and end up eating crow later.

    But still and all, Mr. Obama has frustrated even his strongest supporters by his coolness.

    Where is that scrappy fighter from the South Side of Chicago that Obama used to talk about during his debates with McCain? Why is he so laid back and taking it on the chin as megalomaniacs and false prophets, with no pretense to decorum or civility, are daily attacking him on the airwaves with insults and derision?

    If he cannot stand up for himself, he should either get advice from professional wits and/or hire sharper spokespersons on his staff to repair the damage.

    He should abandon sainthood, and instead begin to give them (his detractors) hell like old Harry S.

Leave a Reply