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Mitch Berg: What you won’t hear from the media or DFL about Tom Emmer

With a primary coming up, the DFL chantblogs and media are making Tom Emmer their top target. But, here are a few things you won’t here discussed about Minnesota’s big election this year…

The DFL is getting its money’s worth.

Figuratively speaking, naturally.

After the Strib, MPR and the MinnPost ran pieces that called (on rather specious grounds) for Tom Emmer to release his plan for re-engineering state government, the regional Sorosphere is taking up the chanting point. That’s how the DFL machine works.

Since it is a chanting point, however, there are a few points you’ll never hear, either in the media or among the DFL chantblogs:

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Why Should Emmer Do The DFL’s Work For Them?:  The DFL not only have seven weeks to go until their primary, but the DFL seems to be mired in a huge passion deficit. Nobody cares about the DFL primary race.  Mark Dayton isn’t so much running away as ambling away with it – because it’s the most tedious primary field in Minnesota history, and its finish is all but inevitable at this point:  Mark Dayton is going to win, and nobody in the world outside the DFL cares about Margaret Anderson-Kelliher and the other guy.

So the DFL desperately wants Emmer to give them some red meat on which the three “contenders” can focus.

Which is why you see the articles, and the vigorous chanting from the blogs; because if the DFL doesn’t get something interesting to talk about soon, their primary turnout may be lower than Bert Blyleven’s lifetime ERA.   The DFL realizes that they’re facing a Republican “passion index” that is beyond anything in recent memory – it may dwarf 1994 by the time we’re done – and they have to do something to focus the troops.

So expect more “Heyyyy, what are you, chicken?  Buk  buk buk!”-style chanting from the DFL, their media supporters, and the chantblogs.

And do not expect Emmer to take the bait!

The Endurance Race:  Campaigns are like a competitive 10K race.  It’s a long slog – and you still need to have a sprint-like “kick” at the end.

And in a long race, runners will try to trick other runners into using their “kick” early, tiring themselves out, and fading in the stretch.

This governor’s race is like a 10K, against an opponent; let’s all that opponent Dieter.  He’s one of those East German athletic machines who’s been pumped full of steroids by his sponsors – the Star Tribune, MPR, the Pioneer Press and the unions – since age 10.   He’s dominated 10K racing for the past 80 few years.  And for all that, you know you can beat Dieter, because you’ve got a great kick…

…but you only have one kick. And if Dieter jinks you into blowing your kick too early in the race, it’s all over.

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The DFL is Dieter; smug, wealthy as all get-out, but starting to show the wear and tear of all the decades of abuse of the taxpayer steroids.  And Tom Emmer has a great “kick” – lots of energized volunteers, some campaign money, a great message…

…but only once.  It’s for the end of the race.  When it matters.

The DFL, of course, would love it if Emmer used his kick right now, while Dieter and the other three runners from Bulgaria, Singapore and Tuvalu were still getting into the starting blocks.

Look – Emmer’s up against not just the DFL, but the media and, by election-time, most likely plenty of national liberal donors and activist groups. It’s a tough uphill battle in this state; the Strib and MPR have immense influence on voters, and the Strib (and the MinnPost, which is largely former Stribbers) is nothing if not reliably in the bag for the DFL.  Emmer has ever reason to husband his resources, his “kick” – money, ad time, volunteer energy, impact – for when they matter.

And every single DFL and media demand that he pony up his plan now, every single one, is the equivalent of Dieter telling you “vots ze mattah?  You a giiiirly maaan, afraid tur do your kick now, when ve are in ze locker room? hahaha…”

So when your co-workers come out with that time, put ‘em in place. It’s getting old.

This post was written by Mitch Berg and originally published on Shot in the Dark.