Former Congressman Rick Nolan, in Comeback Bid, Revs Up DFL Convention Crowd

By Grow, Doug | MinnPost.com, June 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Former Congressman Rick Nolan, in Comeback Bid, Revs Up DFL Convention Crowd


Grow, Doug, MinnPost.com


ROCHESTER -- Late in the afternoon on Saturday, delegates to the state DFL convention here were growing weary.

They'd spent the day crowded together at long tables, applauding speeches by their elected officials and candidates, munching on snack foods and voting "yea" or "nay'' on a long list of insider resolutions.

Rick Nolan had seen his late-afternoon spot on the speakers' lineup and winced.

"If you had to pick a spot to speak, this would not be it," said the former congressman who is the DFL-endorsed candidate for the 8th District congressional seat held by GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack.

Nolan received polite applause from the crowd when he was introduced.

As he began his speech -- without notes -- the delegates were half-listening. But the longer he spoke, the more tuned in the crowd became.

"Who is this guy?" many delegates seemed to be thinking.

Nolan was talking about the need to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. He was talking about a single-payer health care system. He was talking about "gay marriage," not just opposing the so- called marriage amendment. He was talking, in compelling tones, about issues that most Democrats seem to no longer talk about.

In short order, the crowd was with him. The old guy -- the former 6th District congressman is 67 years old -- can still rock 'n' roll and move even a tired crowd.

8th District race getting national attention

Nolan, and the race he is in, will bring national attention and money to Minnesota politics this year.

First up is an 8th District primary that promises to be costly and intriguing.

Both of Nolan's primary opponents opted to not make any sort of appearance at this convention.

Tarryl Clark and Jeff Anderson have meaningful bases of support as they approach the August primary.

Clark, a former state senator, has a large base of national support, following her unsuccessful bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann two years ago. Anderson, a former Duluth city council member, has support of such Iron Range stalwarts as just-retired Rep. Tom Rukavina and former House Majority Leader Tony Sertich.

But it is Nolan, who served three terms in the U.S. House (1975- 1981) before deciding not to run again, who won the support of activists at district conventions.

This race has national implications because Democrats believe the 8th District seat belongs to them and that Cravaack's stunning victory over longtime incumbent Jim Oberstar was a one-time fluke.

That thinking, however, doesn't necessarily reflect contemporary realities.

It's understood by most that Republicans can fare well in the southern portion of the 8th, which includes the northern exurbs of the Twin Cities.

Political, demographic changes reshape district

But there are even potential political changes in Duluth and the Range portions of the district that create some anxiety for DFLers.

Joe Begich, who was a state representative (1974-92) from St. Louis County, has been attending DFL conventions since 1952.

"In the 1950s to the 1970s, there were 17,000 miners (in the 8th District)," he said. "Now there are 3,600 - and a lot of the younger ones are non-union," he said.

More shocking to Begich and some of his colleagues is that many of those younger miners find Cravaack "a pretty good guy."

"They're not paying attention to how he votes," Begich said.

But they are paying attention to some contemporary issues that create a philosophical divide in the contemporary DFL. That big issue -- environmentalists vs. mining -- came up again at this convention.

All of this means that whoever wins the Nolan-Clark-Anderson primary can no longer count on universal support from the lunch- bucket crowd that once-upon-a-time almost unanimously supported Democrats.

That there is going to be a highly competitive primary in the 8th will make it even more difficult to make Cravaack a one-term wonder. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Former Congressman Rick Nolan, in Comeback Bid, Revs Up DFL Convention Crowd
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.