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GOP notebook: Emmer sees two-way race, Coleman talks about not running, and other weighty issues

“It’s a two-way race now,” Tom Emmer told supporters Friday. Also, Norm Coleman’s happy and candidates offer weight-loss advice.

On the fifth of six stops of a campaign tour on Friday, capped by a televised debate, a candidate either gasps for air or carries energy to spare. The Emmer bus pulled into the parking lot of a Minnetonka warehouse and a blast of adrenaline hopped off.      

Tom Emmer left behind the lawyer’s courtroom theatrics for more expansive themes. “I am very proud to be the endorsed Republican candidate, but this is about rising above party labels,” he told the small crowd of supporters, mainly there at election headquarters to make get-out-the-vote calls.  “If we are going to assess blame we will never move forward.”

Even his knock on DFLer Mark Dayton carried a note of respect: “We should honor people who want to serve but we should [not elect] people who take our kids future and treat it as a hobby.”

Spoken like a candidate who may have flicked off the pesky independent sapping his support and who avers, “It’s a two-way race now.”

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Coleman content

Emmer was joined in Minnetonka and St. Paul by former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, who says he’s very content these days not being a candidate.

“It’s nice to wake up, read the paper, and not have worry about someone who’s trying to kill you,” he said.

But that hasn’t stopped him from trying kill off, metaphorically, some of the current crop of candidates.  Coleman’s PAC, the American Action Network (AAN), has targeted candidates with TV attack ads, one of which was pulled off the air by a TV station in Denver. 

“This is all Democrat hyperventilation,” responded a spokesman for AAN.

The ad itself hyperventilates with the usual combination of faux outrage, buzz words and slight exaggeration. Coleman strongly defends this ad and others aired by the AAN.

“The fact is that we have fact-checks and legal counsel reviews all these ads,” he said.   

In the ad, a woman, chatting with a friend online, tells her that Democrat Congressman Ed Perlmutter voted to allow convicted rapists to get Viagra paid for by the new health care bill. Local media reportedly opined in their “truth tests” that the ad was false and 9News  pulled the ad from rotation.  

AAN offered verification of the claim in the form of a letter from the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan branch of the Library of Congress.  It states the new health care bill contains no provision to limit benefits based on a criminal conviction and does not restrict drugs like Viagra. It’s a stretch, but in the hands of political advertising spin doctors, Perlmutter voted for a bill that will allow a rapist access to government subsidized Viagra.

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The campaign diet

It’s a fact that political campaigns can be distinctly unhealthy, what with late nights, stress, second-hand smoke and all. That is, except for one health metric: weight. Campaigns can be great weight-loss plans, and the candidates I observe are looking trimmer and leaner

It looks like Mark Dayton and Tom Horner have both lost weight, and Tom Emmer has confirmed it that’s what’s happened to him.  From his press secretary, Chris Van Guilder, the official number is 20 pounds. Van Guilder credits rollerblading, the parades all summer, the rigors of the campaign trail, and regular exercise.  

Also — ahem — weighing in is GOP candidate for the House Seat 41B, Pat Mazerol, who told a crowd of supporters he too lost 20 pounds.

He describes his regimen thusly: “Not only you work it off, you lose your appetite.”