On Tuesday, I posted Road trip: MNGOP brings clown car politics to Minnesota's Seventh, which looked at the expansion of the Clown Car Syndrome as a political strategy into the sprawling rural district:
Back in 2007, potential candidates started lining up in Southern Minnesota to run against then-freshman representative Tim Walz. By 2008, FDL/Mercury Rising blogger Phoenix Woman soon identified this as "The Clown Car" Syndrome, a strategy the MNGOP appears to be repeating in the First.
Given the anemic fundraising by the candidates running against Walz, it's more of a kiddies' party than three-ring circus.
The Republican Party seems to be taking the clown car on the road to Minnesota 's Seventh Congressional District, a seat now held powerful House Agriculture Chair and Blue Dog Collin Peterson. While progressives across the country are dismayed by Peterson's voting record, he remains quite popular in the sprawling rural district.
Four potential candidates have hitched a ride.
Since then, Forum newspapers have learned to check the Minnesota CD7 website, since the new candidates aren't sending out press releases. Unlike Bluestem, the papers' accounts-- and Minnpost's digest of them--aren't acknowledging the Clown Car Syndrome, or the long shot nature of the bids.
Aaron Brown, the marvelous journalist-blogger chimera behind Minnesota Brown, does a much better job at looking at the Clown Car Syndrome's outbreak in Minnesota's Eighth CD in Five GOP candidates seek Oberstar's seat:
This demonstrates more enthusiasm from GOP party regulars than has been seen recently when party bosses tried and failed to get plausible candidates to run at the last minute.
Nevertheless, the electoral math of the 8th CD remains largely the same, regardless of the national mood. Oberstar, a pro-life, pro-gun labor Democrat, has enjoyed wide victory margins in his stunning 36-year tenure. If you think this year's GOP field is large, wait until you see the size of both DFL and Republican fields if and when Oberstar retires (a prospect that remains planted firmly on a distant, unknown horizon).
Numbers and enthusiasm aren't markers of vulnerability, though doubless readers will see races in all three seats framed this way by the spokesters of the MNGOP. In the comments at Aaron's place, I suggest a standard for judging reportage:
. . . I'll be using a journalist's acceptance or scrutiny of the MNGOP frame as a test of that writer's laziness, integrity and mental acumen.
Those who actually examine a district's profile and campaign coffers will get a gold star. Those who uncritically accept the notion that a large and peculiar field indicates an incumbent is in trouble deserve public ridicule on twitter as press release lackeys.