Click above to view the four-minute 4/13/08 WCCO interview
Esme Murphy interviews Ashwin Madia, above. The post-pivot candidate comes across very well. One might quibble a teentsy bit over Ashwin's posture, hair and handshake, but Madia has excellent instincts for this new general audience phase of the campaign.
The interview is interesting too for the exquisite MSM cluelessness so proudly displayed by Esme Murphy. That a professional follower of the news in Minnesota, six months into the Madia campaign, can still unashamedly grapple with the pronunciation of the candidate's first name could drive one to pay for a broadband connection. Exotic Ah-Shwinn...what could these DFLers be thinking...in the Third District? Get this:
Murphy: 'In terms of the Third District, the makeup of the Third District I think a lot of people think of the Third District as Wayzata, as Minnetonka, sort of, a white suburban area, yet it is "a changing district." When you first ran were you concerned about being a candidate of color? Did you feel that that would affect your candidacy, and has it affected your candidacy?' [my typesetting]
How bizarre. That's what separates Esme Murphy from the non-professional journalists, of course: She's proudly clueless. She hasn't paid a whit of attention to the CD3 DFL endorsement race and considers that the inevitable position of the professional. (Supremely unbiased = pristinely fact free.) How do they get people to watch television anymore? Ashwin is of course quite prepared to absorb and bounce forward after cheesy exoticism gambits such as Murphy's. The reporter thinks up another question:
'You will be almost certainly running against Rep. Erik Paulsen’...‘a very popular man, an experienced legislator...what are you going to do to set yourself apart from a very popular guy?’
How do we know Erik Paulsen is a very popular guy, Esme? Among Paulsen's various attributes--that he's extremely antiabortion and that he maintains a blacklist against bloggers he suspects of non-Republicanism--why emphasize a personal characteristic unsupported by any reasoning?
Eric Black recently published on the Madia phenomenon, too:
Ashwin Madia, a very young, dark-skinned, bachelor lawyer with a foreign-sounding name, who had not run for anything since college, who started with name recognition in the zero range, beat state Sen. Terri Bonoff, a bright, attractive, well-regarded, well-financed woman for the DFL endorsement and is now the all-but-certain DFL nominee in what is expected to be one of the hot congressional races in the country.
Please, please can we drop the pseudo-hayseed exoticizing of 'well-spoken' Madia? It's creepy and insulting [to residents of CD3 and to Madia]. But at least Black describes Bonoff as 'bright, attractive, well-regarded, well-financed'; a summary universally embraced, no doubt, somewhere over the rainbow. After the CD3 DFL convention Madia supporters and 'unbiased' MSM journalists feel obligated to pretend that we're all just completely mystified by why Ashwin Madia took down a sitting Minnesota state senator--and a bright, attractive, well-regarded, well-financed one at that. Donning the mask of pretend stupidity is being demanded of all upright citizens this week. Never, never, never.
The big blogworld news today, concerning the Madia candidacy, was the revelation that Madia apparently bullshitted on a his vote in the 2000 election, when responding to an on-air question on MPR, falsely claiming to have voted for Al Gore in 2000. A Madia staffer 'clarified' the matter after the CD3 DFL Convention. An error not to Madia's credit, but not of sufficient magnitude to justify a primary challenge, imho.