Weather Forecast


Guest Editorial: Minnesota could have front-row seat to elections

If you thought the big race was over Tuesday when Democrats finally settled on Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton (we think), it ain't over yet.

In fact, Minnesota just may end up with a front-row seat as the presidential campaign kicks up in full gear from now until Nov. 4. It should be fun for most Minnesotans, especially those tuned into public policy and wanting to play a role in electing the next leader of the free world.

For decades, Minnesota's deep liberal influence has kept Republican presidential contenders away because it wasn't worth the effort. And, if the Republicans weren't coming, then the Democrats had nothing to protect so they stayed away too.

While entrenched Democrats might now be worried that their grip is loosening over Minnesota, the new front-row seat the state seems to take can only bode well in putting Minnesota at the table in developing public policy for either party.

The margin has narrowed over the last two elections, with Republican gaining ground in Minnesota although certainly not enough to capture the state -- at least, not yet, which makes it interesting.

That the Republican National Convention will be held in the Twin Cities this September is key. It will focus the nation's attention on our state, and our citizens will be asked for their opinions -- from national defense to health care.

That Obama chose the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night to announce his apparent nomination victory also doesn't escape us. It's the same arena at which the Republicans will gather in September, making it seem as though Obama was saying the Dems won't give up Minnesota without a fight.

And the fact that Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty keeps being mentioned among the top circles as a potential running mate for John McCain also continues to focus national attention on the state.

As a result, Minnesotans should see a lot of Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain over the next five months. Unfortunately, most of their visits will be to the easy access metro area. Just once, we'd like to see them swing north a little bit. -- Bemidji Pioneer