August 10, 2004


Read His Lips: In endorsing Bush, Randy Kelly speaks from both sides of his mouth (Britt Robson, 8/11/04, City Pages)

Hard as it may be, let's try to believe everything St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly has said over the past couple of weeks. When Minnesota Public Radio host Kerri Miller asked Kelly, in an on-air interview July 26, whether he was considering crossing party lines and backing George Bush for president, let's assume the mayor meant it when he said, "No."

Let's also assume Kelly is being truthful when he says a conversation with Bush just four days later did not influence his subsequent decision to endorse the president last week. Instead, let's believe Kelly when he says that an "I Hate Bush" bumper sticker he saw on West Seventh Street in St. Paul six months ago belatedly rose to prominence in his mind and was the "turning point" that caused him to directly contradict what he told Miller on the radio just days earlier.

We should consider Kelly's word when he told Miller, "My first obligation is to the citizens of St. Paul and making sure that I govern from the center and that I do not antagonize one group or the other." Perhaps Kelly thought that boarding a plane and traveling around the state with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty to rally the troops for Bush would not antagonize his fellow Democrats or hinder his obligations back in the capital city. A bold gambit for the longtime DFLer, since the GOP that's in power has hardly considered what's best for St. Paul.

Perhaps most importantly, let's assume Kelly meant it when he said that he thought a Kerry administration would "jeopardize the economic recovery we are experiencing."

Suffice it to say the alternative press appears not to fired up about this endorsement.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2004 9:00 PM

Neither is the national press - Susan Estrich questioned him on Fox last Friday and the first words out of her mouth were "how is the recall coming along"?

Apparently Kerry is so weak that any deviation is squashed (see Rodney Alexander). Of course, Ed Koch and Zell Miller are too tough to be messed with like that.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 10, 2004 9:14 PM

Like the Senator from NY, who used to be a country lawyer and a housefrau, said:

"You don't have to fall in love, you just have to fall in line."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 10, 2004 10:14 PM