The CD3 DFL Convention was the big event this weekend. During much of the convention there was disconcertingly minimal movement, from ballot to ballot, so the ending came with unanticipated speed after the eighth ballot indicated some softening in Terri Bonoff's support.
We knew going into yesterday's convention that the superdelegates were blissfully out-of-touch with the democratic process, that they're happy to make highly consequential candidate-selection decisions in the absence of any due diligence and that they view their prerogatives as sacrosanct. They simply don't care what senate district convention delegates think; superdelegates are smarter than you, so much so that it would be a waste of time for them to have to explain themselves.
To solve the superdelegate problem, in the future I think that superdelegates ought to be addressed--without eye contact of course--as Lord or Lady, and they should be issued special convention dress uniforms complete with epaulettes, spats and shiny helmets with ermine tassels. At future CD3 DFL conventions, non-superdelegates could adopt a special nose-touching-floor bow with which to greet superdelegates. This formal increase in superdelegate status ought to be accompanied by the removal of superdelegate voting rights, as we gradually beef up the D component in DFL.
After the eighth ballot yesterday, message reversal time arrived quite suddenly. When Terri Bonoff took the stage to announce her withdrawal, we knew what was afoot. People who'd been fighting Team Bonoff all day were suddenly chanting Terri, Terri in the standard face-saving, party-unifying gesture. After the Bonoff concession, Ashwin Madia then spoke and praised the 'classy,' wonderful campaign Terri Bonoff ran. These are just the standard polite lies one tells to lubricate political interaction, and I entirely accept Ashwin's reasons for doing so.
But many people who followed the two campaigns closely know that to say Terri Bonoff ran an uplifting, classy wonderful campaign is simply untrue. During the campaign, Terri Bonoff made a number of statements revealing a woeful lack of knowledge concerning key current issues and she employed a number of sleazy tactics which quite justly earned her widespread condemnation from well-informed observers. This blog does not owe America an apology for Bonoff's tawdry campaign, nor should bloggers behave as quasi-campaign workers, implementing the polite-BS face-saving rhetoric which is so understandable when coming from Madia himself.
Again, bloggers ought not engage in the polite-BS face-saving rhetoric--that's Team Madia's job, not ours. We do not owe the world an apology for Terri Bonoff's various ethical and informational lapses during this campaign, nor for the embarrassing conduct of our district's superdelegates, with two notable exceptions in Bill Davis and Dan Weinand.
Here's what I'm talking about:
BREAKING: BONOFF TO WITHDRAW!
Update by Zack at 4:41: St. Sen. Terri Bonoff is a great public servant. Minnesotans are truly lucky to have her. She ran a great race right up until the end and should be commended for never giving up. I think many in the chattering class expected today to be a blowout win for Madia, but Terri never quit fighting. I think she has a lot to be proud of today. Matt adds: Seconded, 100%.
And Two Putt* wrote:
Throughout this campaign, I've been impressed with the determination of Team Bonoff. Special mention goes to Kay Lewis of Team Bonoff; she worked the floor with skill and helped keep delegates solid. But since turning delegates - for both sides - was not going to happen, it was up to the supers to make an endorsement happen.
I'd like to make clear that Terri Bonoff and her campaign did a great job - unfortunately, they ran into an exceptional campaign. And when push came to shove, party leadership did their job.
I mean, with all due respect, that's bullshit. The party leadership did not behave ethically--they chose their candidate without even considering Ashwin Madia, who they viewed as an unclubbable upstart. Terri Bonoff and her campaign did not lose due to happenstance; she lost the old-fashioned way: She earned it. Team Bonoff had an inarticulate candidate with a poor grasp on the issues who proved willing to engage in gasp-inducing campaign sleaze in order to subvert the will of senate district convention delegates. Perhaps it's Ashwin Madia's job to paper over this well-documented history; fine. But that's not my bailiwick, nor ought it be Zack's, Matt's or Two Putt's.
*In my original posting, I mistakenly attributed this statement to Grace Kelly. I was corrected by an esteemed commenter, so I fixed the error, above.