Friday, November 13, 2009

A thought on Clark 

A quick thought on our own Sen. Clark, who apparently has gotten herself engaged in a (relatively small) fracas over some comment she made to a left-wing blog. If you live in St. Cloud you often see her, sometimes with her husband, visiting with constituents. "Isn't she nice?" many will say to me. Yes, in fact, mostly she's nice to me to my face. (Gary has had a different experience; I have not.) But there does seem to be two Mrs. Clarks -- the one constituents and her own family see in St. Cloud, and the one her DFL family in St. Paul sees. I'm sitting in one of those places right now where she enjoys a bit of a rock star status sweeping through the coffee shop. But ask those people what she does in St. Paul and all you get is "she represents us." It's a vague answer.

I really don't think the St. Cloud observers know the St. Paul Clark, and I'm not sure they'd like what they saw if someone showed her to them. Some will certainly, the strong partisans and the bombthrowers and the tax consumers. But her ability to reach independent voters, particularly in the business community I know, would be damaged if she was seen as being as strident as her Daily Beast or Kos blog shows her to be. As of yet in St. Cloud, tax consumers are not the majority.

If the Bachmann campaign wanted to play hardball with Clark, it should show St. Cloud the St. Paul version. The Americorps comment is what football players call "bulletin board material."

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