WOULD THE REAL ARNE CARLSON STEP FORWARD?

It's an iron-clad electoral rule: the politicians you hate the most aren't up for reelection.

           Take the case of Governor Arne Carlson: he seems incapable of articulating any policy whatsoever (unless you consider gutting public education or fussing about editorial cartoons policy). It got us wondering: If he does so little--in public view, anyway--why do some people hate him so much? And what are the alternatives? Surely, in a state like ours, there is some other Arne Carlson who could do a better job of doing nothing. We started making phone calls and came up with a limited slate of Arne Carlsons, all of whom seem eminently qualified for the top spot in St. Paul:

Name: Arne Carlson

Home: Minneapolis

Occupation:
Retired "from the meat industry"

Family: unknown

Past political
experience
: none

Age: 69

           The City Pages Interview:

           CP: Hello. Are you related to the governor?

           AC: Nope.

           CP: Do you get a lot of calls for him?

           AC: Just about three I think, over the time. One to wish me a happy birthday.

           CP: How would you evaluate his work so far this term?

           AC: Oh, I think he's done well.

           CP: What do you think he's done well?

           AC: Oh, just overall. [long pause] I guess I can't say anything more than that.

           CP: Has he made any mistakes?

           AC: I can't think of any.

           CP: Do you have any political ambition?

           AC: Nope.

           CP: So you wouldn't run for governor?

           AC: Nope.

           CP: You wouldn't run against Arne Carlson?

           AC: Nope.

           CP: How much attention do you pay to politics?

           AC: Not much.

           CP: So it's not a big part of your life?

           AC: Nope. [long pause] I vote both parties.

           CP: So you'd call yourself an independent?

           AC: I would.

           CP: What do you think the strengths of the state are?

           AC: [very long pause]...[inaudible]

           CP: Okay. Thanks for your time.

           AC: Yup.

           Political Analysis: This Arne Carlson conducts himself in a style that could be characterized as "minimalist sound-bite." Our conversation was fraught with barren pauses and terse affirmative/negative responses to policy questions. Could he fill in for Minnesota's governor? Nothing's impossible. The fact that his more complex analysis was mumbled and unintelligible is promising.

Name: Arne Carlson

Home: Orono

Occupation:
Retired Small
Business Owner

Family: Married

Past political
experience
: unknown

Age: 67

           The City Pages interview:

           CP: We're selecting an alternative draft for governor, and we thought of you, for obvious reasons.

           AC: Now, are you thinking that I'm Arne Carlson?

           CP: Not at all. I'm thinking that you might be a decent alternative to Arne Carlson.

           AC: I'm not interested in being a candidate for anything.

           CP: I see. Well, in that case, how would you evaluate the governor's performance so far in this term?

           AC: I'm more pleased than displeased. I think he's represented a nonpolitical-not-too-far-left-not-too-far-right. I'm pro-choice. He hasn't taken a strong stand on

that one way or another.

           CP: Has he done anything poorly, do you think?

           AC: Oh, well, I'm not sure about his public relations. Without getting too specific.

           CP: Suppose you were governor. What would your goals be?

           AC: I'm not really interested in pursuing this.

           Political Analysis: Well, for someone who seems to dislike Cyndi Brucato (without getting too specific) this Arne sure knows how to obfuscate. "I'm not really interested in pursuing this"? Spoken like a pro. This man is ripe for political office. Later in our conversation he summed up the state's problems succinctly: "We've got a big geographic state and a small population to take care of it." A little brushing up with the hated Brucato and this guy could be a shoe-in.

Name: Arne Carlson

Home: Minneapolis

Occupation:
Deceased

Family: unknown

Past political
experience
: unknown

Age: unknown

           The City Pages Interview:

           Woman: Hello?

           CP: Hi. Is Arne there?

           Woman: Uh, you must want the governor, huh?

           CP: No, huh uh, I don't. You get a lot of calls for the governor?

           Woman: Yeah.

           CP: I want the other Arne Carlson.

           Woman: Well, he's dead.

           Political Analysis:Is Minnesota ready for a dead governor? True, we buried Rudy Perpich with pomp and circumstance, and a score of other former governors have died. But never has a dead man actually served as governor. Nevertheless, Minnesota prides itself on its liberal, inclusive reputation. Putting a dead man in the governor's office would be a true test of whether there's any meat on the bones of that reputation. Then again, this Carlson might be better suited for the lieutenant governorship. Carlson & Carlson. Has a nice ring. *

--Joseph Hart

PUBLICDOMAIN

           Three times a year, the on-air hosts at Minnesota Public Radio break from reading news copy and sing for their supper. As the deadline approached to meet this season's fund-raising goal of $499,000, KNOW's broadcast talent extemporized at an impressively feverish pitch, from the koans of Gary Eichten to the the manic free association of pledging Zeus Dan Olson. We present the following lightly edited transcripts. Membership might not be free, but the verse is.

We've got our fingers and toes crossed

Makes it a little hard to walk

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Minnesota Concert Tickets
Loading...