In the wake of Tim Pawlenty’s announcement that he wasn’t running for governor again in 2010 (probably so he can run for president in 2012), the Minneapolis StarTribune put out an article listing the various persons in the Republican Party of Minnesota who were looking at taking his place — and yes, Norm Coleman was mentioned as possibly being one of these people. Here’s my take on the names they mentioned. (For extra credit, and more info, go to Jeff Fecke’s shop for a slightly different and better-informed take, as well as more names.)
Norm Coleman: No way. No effing way. He’s in massive debt, the stink of failure is all over him, and the Kazeminy suits are coming up. He still has friends in high and well-heeled places, but they know he’s done. His main value now is in introducing his old friends (*cough*BushCheneyRove*cough*) to those who wish their patronage.
Marty Seifert: By far the most likely in my opinion, as he’s Pawlenty’s chief ally in the legislature — and has followed a similar career parth, as he and Pawlenty have been House Majority Leaders during their respective times in the state lege. He’s also the youngest of the lot, and the RPM looks to be having a bit of a youth movement right now. (Seifert’s even stepped down from his House Minority Leader job so he can jump into the gubernatorial race with both feet.)
Dave Senjem: Nope. Nonentity. Bob Dole without the charisma or wit. A time-server in his late sixties who is currently Senate Minority Leader because no one else wanted the job, which comes with built-in cooties that could wreck the career of someone just starting out.
Geoff Michel: Nope. He’s from Edina, an upscale Minneapolis suburb that is known for its wine-and-cheese Republicans, who with the rise of the knuckle-draggers and brush-arbor megachurch types are not currently in favor. He could do well in the general, but there’s no way in hell he’d make it past the primary. Plus, he’s a dork.
David Hann: See Dave Senjem, with a dash of thuggery thrown in.
Steve Sviggum: Nope. He is the guy on whose watch the House went from RPM to DFL control in 2006. He’ll never be forgiven for that, even though the fault was more the public’s general and growing revulsion with the GOP nationally than his own actions.
Pat (Awada) Anderson: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Where do I start? A former daughter-in-law of a local restaurateur who in addition to being crazy, is ideologically unreliable — too much so for the party leadership or the base to tolerate.
Brian Sullivan: Former RPM platform chair, hyperconservative and rich Orono businessman with good hair and the willingness to lavishly self-fund. Challenged Pawlenty in 2002 for the RPM gubernatorial nomination and took it fairly far even though he started several months later than did Pawlenty. He’d give Seifert a run for his money, and could be trouble in the general as well.
Rod Grams: Erm, no. Former Senator Family Values (and former local TV news anchor) lost that gig when, among other things, he was caught boinking his chief of staff and now wife Christine Gunhus (who herself is a rat-fornicating piece of work) a bit too closely in the wake of his messy, prolonged divorce from another woman. Plus, his son Morgan Grams is a hellion. And while abject stupidity is often seen as a feature, not a bug as far as GOP candidates are concerned — easier for their handlers to control and all that — Grams was/is such an airhead that his chief Washington staffer, Pete Hong, was known as "Senator Hong" as he notoriously did all his boss’ thinking. (Hong, like his boss, is also known for thinking with his little head, as last year’s bust for soliciting a prostitute’s services shows.)
Mark Kennedy: Stink. Of. Failure. This is the guy who was the up-and-comer, the guy who was the strongest of the RPM’s new generation in the Early Aughts, the guy who literally scared then-incumbent Senator Mark Dayton out of politics — and then proceeded to get his ass kicked by Amy Klobuchar, who ran a so-so, albeit quite competent, campaign. I think not.
Michele Bachmann: God doesn’t love me that much. Enough said.