Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top political stories of 2008

Kevin Farley in American Carol
2008 was a big year in politics in the North Star State. Please log your reactions to my list in the comments section or via Twitter (@mattabe).
  • John McCain Picks Sarah Palin For Vice President - What were McCain's real motives? Did the pick hurt McCain more than it helped? Who knows, but judging by the huge rally crowds and the cast of characters who are still attacking Palin with slander, hammer, and tong, Palin is a conservative who can make it morning in America again.
  • Minnesota U.S. Senate Election Recount - R.I.P. Clean Elections In Minnesota.
  • Minnesota's Congressional Republicans Keep All Three Of Their Seats As Ramstad Retires - The bright side in 2008 for Republicans was that Republican Erik Paulsen was elected to succeed Jim Ramstad in the Third, and conservatives Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN6) and Rep. John Kline (R-MN2) kept their seats on the Republican side of the aisle.
  • Third District DFL Endorses Ashwin Madia For Congress - Third CD Dems boldly showed the courage of their convictions by bypassing (in a hotly contested endorsing convention) the well-funded, seasoned pol, and Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff for political newcomer Ashwin Madia. Madia's youthful campaign workers in the general election made extensive use of Internet technologies to spread the word. Madia raised more money outside Minnesota than in-state.
  • Republican National Convention Held In Twin Cities - the hotels, bars, and restaurants were booked; the anarkids wreaked havoc; and Sarah Palin made her national debut as the eyes of the world gazed upon the Twin Cities for an unforgettable week in August.
  • "Override Six" Targeted By Conservatives - conservatives flexed their political muscle in the most visible way since the No New Taxes Pledge. Here's to another encore in 2009.
  • Precinct Caucuses Attract Record Turnout - the MNGOP got an infusion of new blood in 2008. Will the party keep them engaged for the run-up to 2010?
  • Conservatives Find Selves Out-Tweeted by Democrats - it goes beyond social networking, it's a generational shift (see: Millenial Makeover). Conservatives, led in part by Hugh Hewitt, spent much of December signing up for Twitter accounts and creating Facebook pages, at least to see what all the fuss is about. Time will tell if they are able to exploit this new paradigm in political communications to win elections.
  • An American Carol - now available on DVD, it was not the funniest political satire ever (see: Team America), but it was welcome comic relief in a year that needed it.

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