Mike Hatch's campaign for Minnesota Governor hit a rough patch when his running mate confessed to a reporter that she didn't know what E-85 is. E85 is considered to be an issue that is very important to the rural Minnesota economy. The blunder was shown on TV newscasts last night, and appeared on the front page of Minnesota newspapers today. Gov. Pawlenty was quick to jump on the Hatch campaign, and no doubt a commercial featuring the blunder will be ready in time for tonight's local newscasts.
If politics proves anything, its that people make mistakes. Sure, Hatch's running mate made a huge blunder, that could cost him votes in a very tight election.
But then again, maybe not. Is E-85 really the defining issue in Minnesota's gubernatorial campaign? And does it really carry the same weight as if Mike Hatch had said it himself?
I think not. Again, Minnesota voters are not given the credit that they deserve. As a highly engaged and educated voting populace, with a very strong independent streak, they will see past this small bump.
During the past four years, we've seen Minnesota suffer through 4-years of Pawlenty cuts to education and services, cuts to local government aid that has forced up my property taxes. I have "fees" coming out my ears, just beause Pawlenty doesn't want to call them taxes. Fees on professional licenses, fees for "filing" just about everything.
Yes, Mike Hatch's running mate made one hell of a high profile blunder, but it was a very small blunder compared to 4-more-years of Pawlenty's tax shell game.
I for one will not be distracted. As blunders go, it's not that big of a deal. It's one very small issue in a very large campaign.
As an independent voter, I see through Pawlenty's attempts to shift the spot light away from his 4-years of slash-and-burn tax cuts. I would rather take a chance on a ticket that needs a little education on E-85 (lobbiests and rural lawmakers will certainly take care of that), than to continue on with Pawlenty's dismantling of Minnesota's world-class educational system.