So you want to be a public servant?

You too could be mayor of St. Paul! Just answer a dozen of the most preposterous, frivolous, and insultingly direct questions you could ever hope to encounter in your whole squirming political life.

TOTAL: 56 POINTS

 

BOBBI MEGARD

Born September 15, 1936 in Boise, Idaho. Moved to Minneapolis in 1954 and later St. Paul. Graduated from the University of Oregon in 1958, received a master's in government from Indiana University in 1962. Served on the St. Paul City Council from 1993 to 1997. Now runs Consulting Company Solutions, which works on policy and community affairs with various nonprofits. Married to Bob Megard; three children.

Political party: DFL

Official Web Site: www.megardformayor.com

1.How much is a pint of Budweiser at Schweitz Saloon in the morning?

"I would say $3, based on other saloons."

2. What tops off the bun of every burger at Porky's?

"A pickle? I haven't stopped at Porky's for a while. Did they pass the last health inspection? I'm a newcomer to St. Paul; I've only lived here for 33 years, so I can't know all of these."

3. Does St. Paul stink?

"Yes. It has an ethanol plant that's smelling up all parts of the city, all the way to the Mississippi River Boulevard. I have checked it out myself. And I've talked to people who live over there, too. It's not just folks at the brewery who smell it, but wherever the prevailing winds are, it carries."

4. What are you going to do about the Canada problem?

"Care to elaborate? We can be very serious about this question. We have to have Canadians come to St. Paul! We need Canadians to play hockey, and we need them to go to the Mall of America, and we need to keep the borders open. We need a little free trade here. I'm in favor of NAFTA!"

5. Where's the best place to behead a Snoopy statue?

"If I were going to behead one, I would probably go over to Hamline [University], at 2:00 a.m., when everyone's asleep, so you could drive up quickly and get away. The one there was close to the sidewalk, and you could do it. If one were inclined to be a vandal. But certainly a candidate for mayor wouldn't do that."

6. Are there skeletons in your closet that we should know about?

"Oh yeah! We've all got skeletons, but which is the one I'm concerned about? I think it's my eating habits. I'm addicted to patty melts. Especially at Manning's, the original one that I went to as freshman at the U of M. We did underage drinking, but we got good burgers, too. My husband and I still go over there if we don't feel like cooking. Como and 25th Street SE. They serve beer in those big schooners there too, but I can only handle a pint. I love those patty melts."

7. Why does St. Paul put Minneapolis to shame?

"Because we are the river city in Minnesota. We're the capital city. We are the first city. And we don't make apologies for that."

8. What will be your epitaph?

"'St. Paul, shining city on a hill.' Oh, mine? That's difficult, I've never really thought about that before. I guess, 'She didn't know when to quit.'"

SCORING:

Accuracy: Most of the questions with specific answers were problematic--if not downright puzzling--for Megard. Especially given her love affair with patty melts, she should have known, for instance, that an onion ring tops the burgers at Porky's. But at least Megard was aware that 33 years in St. Paul is simply not long enough to figure out the subtleties of the city. 24 points

Style: Whoa, Bobbi! Tell us how you really feel about the controversial ethanol plant! Stick it to those bleeding hearts who don't like NAFTA! Tells us about your drinking escapades as a youth, your lust for red, red meat! Trash-talk and strut about St. Paul! We admire the bone-crunching honesty, but really, lighten up a bit: The Canada question is a joke. 45 points

Mitigating factor: There are two candidates named Bob in this race, and they've both been hit for a -10 in this category. And though we'd like to spare Megard the same brutality and give her the benefit of the doubt for feminizing the name, we can't: Her husband's name is Bob. That's right, Bob and Bobbi Megard. -10 points

TOTAL: 59 POINTS

 

News intern Ben Ganje contributed research for this article.

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