Is there a worse hack than G.R. Anderson, Jr., in the Twin Cities' press corps? He never met a Republican talking point about Congressman Walz he didn't wholeheartedly recycle (just as he has a hard time getting basic facts right).
The wet sloppies for hapless candidate Brian Davis (whom Anderson has repeatedly called "formidable", even after the dude raised over $1 million to score only 32.9% of the vote, the lowest percentage of any major party candidate since the First was redistricted in 2002) are one thing.
But more illustrative of Anderson's severe sloth is his citation of Ron Carey's haircut quip about Walz as if this gem is oh-so-clever.
How lazy is Anderson? A piece from our archives illustrates just how lazy the reporter assigned the Walz beat at MinnPost really is:
While the first district Republicans' endorsed candidate rejects government programs to help incubate Southern Minnesota's nascent renewable energy industry, we can report this evening that Bluestem Prairie has discovered that the pachyderm party at least supports recycling.
However, Scripture reminds us that re-use isn't always the best option. We recall that memorable analogy from the Gospels that tells us to pour new wine into new skins, lest the old wineskin burst and leave one heckova mess to clean up.
And hence a quip in the "breaking news" of Brian Davis's endorsement may indeed indicate that something's broke with Republican congressional campaigns.
In Mayo doctor Brian Davis gets GOP nod in First District, the state GOP chair speaks:
Prior to the vote, state Republican Chairman Ron Carey urged delegates to unite to defeat Walz, whom he said "masqueraded" as a conservative when he ousted Gil Gutknecht in 2006.
"The only conservative thing about Tim Walz was his haircut," Carey said. . . .
Now, where and when did we hear that before? Oh yeah, Minn. Roundup: Walz a Legit Barrier to Gutknecht in 1st District, a New York Times article published on October 17, 2006:
Republicans are trying to emphasize what they portray as Walz’s liberal outlook, which they said will not play well with voters who voted in favor of Bush both in 2000 and 2004.
“The only thing conservative about Tim Walz is his haircut,” state party spokesman Mark Drake told CQPolitics.com.
The NYTimes and CQPolitics teamed up to share coverage in the 2006 elections.
Minnesota wasn't the only place nor Walz the only Democratic candidate against whom the elephants rallied this punchline. Witness a 2006 ad against Montana's Jon Tester:
Earlier this week, the NRSC released both a television and radio ad centered on Tester's trademark buzz cut. Both are set in a fictional barbershop and feature the punch line: "Conservative haircut. Liberal values.
Like Walz, Tester unseated an incumbent.
We knew that the National Republican Congressional Committee was short on cash, but we're surprised to see a new candidate's chances poured so recklessly into the old skin of an unsuccessful slogan.
Anderson must think he's pretty clever to cite the RPM chair's dimwitticism, as do Ron Carey and his own hacks. Somehow, the fact that repeating this line didn't impress Southern Minnesota's voters in two back-to-back election cycles hasn't sunk in for Carey or the stenographers like Anderson who find this sort of thing fresh and enticing.
Perhaps Anderson simply lives for scraps of fawning attention from Ron Carey's favorite online hack. And while we hope Anderson might consider addressing that neediness in the privacy of an office of a skilled professional, we have to wonder what stake the MinnPost editors and proprietors have enabling Anderson's infatuation with the Republican Party's definition of Congressman Walz.
Update: Perhaps the MinnPost editors might wish to review our post, Money doesn't change everything: votes and GOP fundraising in DFL congressional districts, before they allow Anderson to slip the word "formidable" in front of Davis's name again.
We would, of course, accept a compromise.
If the MinnPost editors agree to qualify the DFL MN-01 candidates in 2002 and 2004 as "formidable" (after all, each received a greater percentage of the vote on Election Day against Gutknecht than did Davis against Walz, while each raised a mere fraction of the money that Davis raised and spent this cycle), we'd be satisfied. [end update]
Second update: Ron Carey whines about Davis being outspent. However, it's interesting to do the due diligence and make the comparison that Anderson wasn't able to muster. Walz's 2006 pre-election filing shows that Walz had spent $697,445.19 by the time of the final fundraising report sent to the FEC before that year's election. This year, Davis had spent $742,052.36 by the time of the pre-election report. Davis's bid simply failed to catch the attention of voters and those willing to fund campaigns.
Walz's appeal to people in his district fueled his successful fundraising, and the percentage of the incumbent's dollars from within the district and state made his fundraising resemble more that of a challenger than an officeholder. Carey can shriek as much as he wishes that Walz bought the election, but the fundraising patterns reveal that Minnesotans in and out of the First Cognressional disitrict invested in an elected official whose work they appreciate. [end update].