Elwyn Tinklenberg: “I Endorse Bachmann for Congress”

… Well, that is not really what the former Democratic opponent of Wackaloon Bachmann said, but he might as well have. As is being reported generally and nicely summarized on DMB, Tinklenberg, who will be running for Michele “The Congresswoman” Bachmann’s seat, has publicly announced that he will seek election even if he is not endorsed by the DFL.

“Huh?” you say? Well, if you are not from Minnesota you may not know about our stupid-ass system for selecting Democratic candidates. Well, most Minnesotans don’t understand it either, but we do know this: If you are a Democrat and you run for the nomination of your party, and don’t get it, you can keep running. Therefore, we often end up with more than one Democrat running for the same office, which pretty much is the same as electing a Republican.

Elwyn Tinklenberg has apparently decided that his presence in the electoral process is more important than replacing Michel Bachamann with a DFLer (oh, that’s what we call “Democrats” here in Minnesota … Democratic Farm Labor).

I have not made a final decision yet, but there is a pretty good chance that on this basis, Greg Laden’s Blog will not be endorsing or supporting El Tinklenberg. As a rule, I prefer not to support candidates who ruin it for everyone. Also, given Tinklenberg’s inability to beat Bachmann given the events of the last election, I’m not so sure he is worth supporting now. Indeed, it is hard to imagine that his abysmal failure has not resulted in a modicum of humility.

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0 thoughts on “Elwyn Tinklenberg: “I Endorse Bachmann for Congress”

  1. Knowing a little about this district’s history, this doesn’t strike me as anything worth getting upset about: at anyone. The DFA primary process is just weird local politics, to which this is just one move in a game of posturing that I have a hard time taking seriously on any side.

    And remember Wetterling in 2006? That was just as disruptive and harmful to the DFA’s chances that year as Tinklenberg running without the DFA would be this time around, and yet no one seemed to care about party integrity or broken promises then either: she was slightly more liberal (though, by her own public and ultimately twice prove-correct admission, too liberal to win), so to hell with actually winning!

    So I wouldn’t any put money on Tinklenberg running without the DFA, no matter what he says in order to try and convince people he’s serious this time around.

  2. This kind of crap defeats the entire purpose of having a political party. You don’t get to pick and choose when you will and won’t go along with the will of your party. I think you are doing the right thing to not endorse this dude.

  3. It’s quite possible that he first, sees the threat from Dr. Maureen Reed, who has been doing pretty well on the fundraising circuit and new challenger Tarryl Clark. It will be an interesting race. Generally, this sort of announcement goes a long way towards turning away delegates who might otherwise have supported him.

    The caucuses start ramping up in February and March, and I will be interested to see if he is able to get the endorsement. I doubt it.

    One issue with abiding by the endorsement is that the race is sewn up too early, and voters get fatiqued. Plus non-actives grouse about not having a voice in who they get to vote for if the party chooses in April who is going to be on the ticket. I think it wastes a lot of money, and part of the reason that Franken’s election was so close was that there were so many Democrats leading up to the primary harping that Franken’s not electable, and it has a lot to do with the way we do the primaries.

    I, personally, would rather do away with the late primary system for the major offices because turnout is so low which skews the results.

    But, honestly, once the primary is over we need to be at full bore against Bachmann. I don’t care who is on the ticket at this point. We need to destroy Bachmann’s career once and for all because she is bad for America. We also need a Democratic guv.

  4. I last participated in Minnesota politics in 1968 when we packed the caucuses to take the 5th District (= the city of Minneapolis) away from Hubert Humphrey’s troops in favor of Gene McCarthy. It was a zoo then and it looks like it’s still a zoo.

    RBH, former 11th Ward, 5th District, Organization and Membership Chairman. 🙂

  5. I agree that Tinklenberg’s 15 minutes have come and gone. He seems like a good man, but he had his chance and failed to generate enough support to defeat Bachmann. I hope 6th District Democrats will look around early and find a strong, exciting, moderate candidate.

    However, I don’t agree that such a candidate must pledge to abide by the endorsement process. I know that sounds heretical to some people.

    Our state’s two-level system (wherein we go through both endorsement and primary) is both rare and cumbersome–most states have only one or the other. The endorsement process weighs heavily in favor of the more extreme members of the parties (like Bachmann). A candidate needs to appeal to the moderate citizens of both parties and the non-affiliated voters in order to win in the 6th. A Democrat ought to be able to win a primary, which involves a broader spectrum of the citizenry, in order to earn the right to face Bachmann in November. I would encourage candidates and supporters to focus on the primary and general election fights rather than the endorsement process, which is all about preaching to the choir.

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