According to fec.gov, by mid-October 2012 Erik Paulsen's campaign spent $2,345,474--as compared to the $289,805 spent by his DFL challenger Brian Barnes. On election day, Paulsen beat Barnes 58.10% to 41.79%. During the previous cycle, challenger Jim Meffert (who--all told--spent $529,268) lost to Paulsen 58.80-36.57, with 4.56% going to Independence Party candidate Jon Oleson.
Hard to say, then, whether--dispassionately speaking--Barnes represents a stronger candidate, compared to Meffert. I just viewed Rep. Paulsen's acceptance speech--and have a comment or two:
Funny that he walks up to the mic chewing gum, with his parents, Swede and his two-thirds permed daughters--one evincing a flirtation with a dreadlocked, hippish cultural perspective, if I'm reading her accurately. Paulsen announces 'the best news'--that Nancy Pelosi will not be Speaker of the House. Joy!
The eldest daughter--on screen left--radiates a certain coolness toward her boring, old-fogy, constipated father. Yo--respect!
Paulsen restates his moralistic opposition to Keynsianism--he believes economic recessions are best treated with contractionary fiscal policy. One wonders whether he is aware of it, when he grandstands--I suspect not.
Erik is ready to roll up his sleeves again, we learn. No public utterance by Paulsen can neglect the sleeve-rolling desire--playing to the naive public perception that the nation's problems persist due to politicians' lack of effort.