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DFL convention buzz: Rukavina’s Kelliher kiss

Most of the time, a kiss may be just a kiss, but not always in political circles, as the weekend DFL convention buzz shows: When did Rep. Tom Rukavina actually plant a smooch on the cheek of Margaret Anderson Kelliher?

Most of the time, a kiss may be  just  a kiss, but not always in political circles, as the weekend DFL convention buzz shows:

When did Rep. Tom Rukavina actually plant a smooch on the cheek of Margaret Anderson Kelliher?

Back up a moment.

Almost as soon as Rukavina changed the tide of the DFL endorsing convention Saturday by throwing his support to the House speaker, a flyer was circulated on the convention floor showing Rukavina kissing Kelliher on the cheek. That kiss happened – but nobody seems to know just when. Certainly, it didn’t happen at the convention. Not even in Duluth.

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The Kelliher campaign says the kiss happened during a photo session involving Minnesota state legislators.

“It’s a real photo, but I’m not sure what year it was,” said Jaimie Tincher, Kelliher’s campaign manager.

The Kelliher campaign had photos showing her in friendly poses with each of the candidates for gubernatorial endorsement.

Then, at the moment a rival dropped out and swung his support to the speaker, the Kelliher campaign wanted to have the photos on the convention floor to convince “second choice” voters that Kelliher was the one candidate who could unite the party.

Entering the convention, no one could have known what a powerful role Rukavina would play. It was his Saturday morning speech to the convention that changed everything. Rukavina was at his best, delivering a passionate, self-deprecating “common-man’’ speech that moved him way up in the esteem of the delegates.

That speech gave Rukavina’s eventual endorsement of Kelliher more influence than it otherwise would have had. The photo of the kiss was just a sweet touch – no matter when it occurred.