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BEST COLUMNIST Minneapolis 2006 - Katherine Kersten

Readers' Choice: Nick Coleman

We used to think that Katherine Kersten's God was a prudish and puckered sort. But that was our fear speaking—fear that we'd be smote, certainly, but also fear that once we'd admitted our need for moral tutelage, there'd be no end to the shame and self-flagellation to follow. In the months since Kersten began gracing its pages, the Star Tribune has felt a little less like our daily dose of liberal apologia and a lot more like William Bennett's Book of Virtues. Correspondingly, her words on our breakfast tables are a constant reminder to attend to our moral development. And when that gets tough, we can at least take comfort in the reliable arc of her little fables and their familiar themes: bootstraps, self-reliance, personal responsibility, ownership...hey, that's one theme, isn't it? We can see why this woman was a model home-schooler: She can hit the same note over and over, seemingly without tiring, punctuated by a righteous tut-tut when the DFL leaves itself most obviously open. Katherine, you've exposed our craven natures and our undiagnosed ADD; you've reminded us of the economical pleasure of the home perm, and you've helped us to face things head on. Really.

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