Off Beat

He's Got His Moe-jo Workin'

The word of the day is fun. It's the grand opening of Roger Moe's new campaign headquarters on the second floor of uptown Minneapolis's Calhoun Square, and roughly 40 people, surrounded by yellow-and-orange "Moementum" signs, are awaiting the arrival of the DFL gubernatorial candidate.

"It's so fun to be in Uptown!" gushes deputy communications director Glen Fladeboe. "It's just so much fun!" The move to Calhoun Square is an attempt to engage young voters, Fladeboe explains. "Just think what the young people did for Ventura in '98. It was incredible."

A campaign worker announces that Moe is on his way up to the office. "They'd like some excitement for when he gets here," she implores. Judging from the polite applause that greets the candidate, any comparison to Jesse Ventura's 1998 campaign is a bit of a stretch. And the 57-year-old veteran legislator's outfit--blue button-down Polo shirt, sensible slacks--is decidedly more Old Country Buffet than Chino Latino.

But Moe seems dead set on putting a youthful veneer on his staid reputation. "Just go out on the street," he says. "Take a look at the people, take a look at the entertainment. It's a young, vibrant part of town."

In another youth-courting move, the candidate has been making appearances in a blue stock car emblazoned with the names of various Minnesota towns. "If you're gonna be in about 50 parades in the summer, you'd better have some fun, and the stock car is fun," he exclaims.

Reaching out to the hipsterati does have its limits, however. When asked if he has any plans to augment his image with, say, a tattoo or piercing, the wannabe governor says flatly, "No."

Now that's not much fun. --By Paul Demko

 
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