Saturday, February 10, 2007

Does Dick Day really want to be a Congressman ?

SPECULATION : Dick Day is not running for Congress but just fundraising for Congress.

Generally people have an overriding motivation when they seek an office …it maybe issue or philosophy driven, such as : to end a war, to end abortion, to end poverty, to end same-sex marriage, to improve schools, to change an unfair law, to change taxes, etc. Heck, didn’t Jesse Ventura run for mayor for something as mundane as a traffic light?
Some may do it as civic responsibility.
Or for power.
Or to exert influence.
Or for ego.
There are lots of reasons.

Dick Day says he’s running because Tim Walz is a liberal.
OK, so that’s a reason … maybe not a unique or compelling reason. Day is a seasoned politician having spent time in the trenches – city council up to Minority Leader in the Minnesota Senate. Those are local jobs where you represent hundreds to thousands of citizens. Those are technically part-time jobs. Technically, the legislature should be in session for five months … lately with the inability to resolve issues, it has been the norm that special sessions are required since they failed to get their jobs done in the required time. Besides, the session workload, there are also meetings with constituents, community leaders, and governmental agencies. Yes, these are part of the job, but they may be scheduled based on your convenience. As a leader in the state Senate, Day can exert influence on legislation.

Compare that to a US Congressman who is in Washington for generally nine to ten months a year … and in the 110th Congress, they are scheduled to be in session Monday through Friday. The weekends are open for in district activities. In the House, you are just one of 435 Representatives with most of the power belonging to Party Leaders and Committee Chairmen. A new Representative may take a long time to move up the chain such as Michelle Bachmann who has been appointed as the 32 ranking member (out of 33 Republicans) to the Financial Services Committee.

If Day is elected, he would be 71 years old when 111th Congress convenes in January 2009. Somehow, I cannot comprehend that the rigors of being a freshman Congressman is what I would want to do when I turn 71.

So, is there another underline story here?
How about fundraising?
The Star-Tribune reportedUnseating an incumbent could take more than $1.5 million, and beginning an aggressive campaign after a spring 2008 endorsing convention would be impractical, Day said. He noted that he had raised $780,000 for his caucus last year, evidence of his fundraising skill.”

Ah, so is Day actually campaigning for fundraising purposes ? If the Republicans want to keep pressure on Walz and attract funds, Day is an ideal candidate. So for the next year, he schmoozes contributors and then when the nominating convention happens, there are a number of other candidates for the party to select. They select a younger, highly Conservative candidate and Day concedes that that candidate would be great nominee, closes his campaign, and sends his warchest to the nominee.

Pure speculation on my part, but I will revisit this commentary in the fall of 2008 and see if I am right. If I am wrong, at 71, I think it will be easy for Day to take the term limit pledge.


Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...

Are you claiming Day is too old to be a congressman?

Anonymous said...

Michael, can't you find something more constructive to do than wander around the internet pretending that you can't read plain English?

Anonymous said...

MDE ignores the valid point that 71 y olds don't get elected as new members to Congress often. When was the last couple times this has happened?