Here, Kiffie-kiffie

class=img_thumbleft> For all the polarizing figures in the GOP tent this election season, nary a peep has been heard from Mary Kiffmeyer, the controversial figure who holds Minnesota's stellar elections reputation in her hands.

Even with that track record--in spite of her efforts, some might say--the incumbent Secretary of State has been hard to find on the campaign trail. All of that ended--somewhat unceremoniously, it would seem--when Madam Secretary arrived at a U of M debate Tuesday some 30 minutes into the event.

According the Minneapolis Observer, Kiffmeyer's rare appearance at a debate since the September 11 primary found her "flustered," and her presence had the same effect on her opponents. "The three challengers--DFLer Mark Ritchie, Independence Party endorsee Joel Spoonheim and Independent Bruce Kennedy," according to the Observer, "had already settled into a comfortable series of salvos criticizing" the sitting secretary when she showed up.

Still, as is so often the case, Minnesota Nice took over the proceedings: "On this evening, however, incumbent and challengers chose to keep their sparring to a minimum, perhaps as a result of Kiffmeyer's awkward entrance or the sparse crowd."

Kiffmeyer, for her part, dodged questions and vaguely trumpeted her record. "We've made tremendous progress over the past eight years," she said, according to the Observer.

Read the entire account here.

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