Odds and ends: Hatch fumes, Kiffie cries, and we will still have Alan Fine to kick around


All coattails, no coat:

Can anyone recall another state election cycle in which one party made deep gains at the Lege and in statewide constitutional offices while their ticket-topper was getting tossed over the side? Mike Hatch is taking enormous heat for the last week of his campaign--Judi Dutcher's E-85 gaffe, Hatch's "Republican whore" epithet (Stanley Hubbard's people prefer to be called "Republican escorts")--but it wasn't all about DFL gaffes. Tim Pawlenty has proven to be one of those Republican pols in the Reagan/Willy Loman mold, capable of remaining well-liked even when his policies poll badly.

Worst news of the night: Rabid GOP dog Alan Fine tells Channel 5's Tom Hauser, "You haven't seen the last of Alan Fine. I'm going to be around a long time."

Crybabies: Patty Wetterling, whose invoking of her dead son's memory seemed much more tasteful and appropriate in a concession speech than it did in her last TV ad; Mary Kiffmeyer, who was forced to pause during her thank-yous and seek comfort in the arms of her husband, former state legislator and visionary anti-dildo crusader Ralph Kiffmeyer; and House Republican brigade leader Steve Sviggum, who broke down and wept at GOP party HQ in Bloomington over all the political careers cut down in their prime.

Best victory speeches: Keith Ellison (we'll be posting video of a CP interview with him later today--we think) and Michele Bachmann. Libs and lefties need to get over this juvenile business of calling Bachmann stupid. She is blissfully ignorant of most things that she does not count as proper concerns of the Lord and His personal assistants, but she's a very canny and charming political animal. The troika of Bachmann, Ellison, and First District upset winner Tim Walz may be the most interesting class of freshmen Minnesota's ever sent to Congress.

No ballpark penalty: Some people thought there might be blowback in Hennepin County Board races over the passage of the Twins ballpark measure without a public referendum. But Mark Stenglein, Peter McLaughlin, and deal-broker Mike Opat all won going away.

Pfffft: The best punk-ass sour-grapes pronouncement on last night from local rightie bloggers, hands down: Powerliner Paul (he was the walrus, right?) opines, "Yesterday's biggest winners: illegal immigrants."

Friends don't let friends blog drunk: Enthusiasm sometimes leads astray the prolific Norwegianity blogger Mark Gisleson, who has predicted the impending collapse of the Bush government since 2002. But he probably should have finished his last Two-Hearted Ale and gone to bed in lieu of writing, at 2:37 a.m., that the Pawlenty/Hatch race "looks like a recount for sure."

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