BEST COLUMNIST Minneapolis 2005 - Nick Coleman
Nick Coleman is old-school. He grew up in blue-collar St. Paul. When he needs material for his thrice-weekly Star Tribune column or wants to check his gut against the word on the street, he heads for a barbershop. He favors blunt, declarative sentences, with an occasional sprinkling of gee-whizzery. But while Coleman has enough blue-collar cred to be welcome in Archie Bunker's house, one can't help but wonder whether he might have succeeded in bringing the old bigoted softie around to his own old-style progressive politics, the kind that favor giving the little guy a chance in life and watching out for each other. That's because Coleman brings a dose of red-state values to his blue-state politics--a welcome read this past election season, his tiresome kerfuffle with the Powerline bloggers notwithstanding.