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Yesterday turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year here in Minnesota, with temperatures hitting 99 degrees and enough humidity to make it feel like the world's biggest sauna. Of course, that didn't stop our radio station, AM 1280 The Patriot, from having its Patriot Picnic, a listener-appreciation day with free food and live radio broadcasts by the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Since I'm still recovering from my back surgery, my son drove me to the picnic and I brought a special folding chair to keep me comfortable for my two-hour appearance. You can hear it for yourselves at Townhall's podcasts.
I felt fortunate to be there, because we had an opportunity to interview Mark Kennedy, the MN-06 Congressman running for Mark Dayton's open Senate seat this November. We kept Mark for the entire first hour, and if you've never heard Mark in a live interview, he's terrific. Even when challenged on his opposition to ANWR drilling, he has a clear and concise answer that may not make ANWR drilling proponents (like myself) happy, but convinced that he has thought the subject through carefully. Kennedy instead wants to open the outer continental shelves for drilling in order to produce oil in the amounts necessary to push us away from an overwhelming dependence on foreign energy supplies. Kennedy also wants to eliminate earmaks and reduce federal spending.
One light moment of the interview came when we realized that his opponent, Amy Klobuchar, had sent a videographer to record Kennedy's appearance. Andy Aplikowski notes that the videographer did not get chased away as did Ben Goldfarb at a Klobuchar event. Mitch asked him what he thought about the physical assault on Goldfarb while we were live on the air, and the poor guy barely muttered a "no comment". The crowd, of course, loved it, and we let the fellow do all the recording he wants. Republicans, after all, have nothing to hide.
That's especially true when it comes to Michele Bachmann, who will run for Mark's seat in MN-06. Bachmann won a tough but collegial primary between four excellent Republican candidates, all of whom we liked -- but we're certainly happy Michele came out on top. We talked with Michele for almost the entire second hour, and she showed us why the Democrats are so afraid of her. She charmed the crowd and had us laughing when we talked about her struggle to get her opponent, Patty Wetterling, to agree to a debate. Michele told us that she would have a debate even if she wound up on the stage by herself. I offered to fill in for Patty, but Michele said she wouldn't want to face me in a debate. Yeah, well, Michele's a very accomplished attorney and a fierce and effective conservative in state politics, so I don't think she'd even have to break a sweat in that face-off.
Michelle also came out strongly in favor of ending earmarks, and showed a good understanding of the issue. She pointed out that earmarks usually come without a chance for public debate or input, taking away our right to know how our money is spent. She wants a simplified tax code -- unusual for a federal tax attorney! -- and also wants to either reduce or eliminate the Department of Education, as she insists the federal government has no authority in this area. She correctly answered King Banaian's test on the 9th and 10th amendments, and recalled her horror at being told in law school that those were now considered the "dead amendments".
I should also note that Michele just turned 50, and she looks about 15 years younger than that. If she can win this election and a couple more, she has a good chance of becoming a national candidate for the GOP in the future. She's smart, focused, charming, and articulate -- and a powerfully dedicated conservative. I'd give her a shot at a VP slot in six or ten years, depending on her ability to progress and the evolution of presidential politics over that period of time.
Be sure to listen to the podcasts of the interviews, and read more of the commentary at Let Freedom Ring, where Gary has written a terrific roundup. Don't forget to contribute to Michele and Mark's campaigns -- they are critical in our effort to hold Republican majorities in both houses of Congress.Sphere It View blog reactions
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