MN GOP in disarray
When Tom Emmer defeated Marty Seifert for the MN GOP endorsement in the spring of 2010, it had consequences. Seifert was the party insider, Emmer the back bench Tea Party candidate. Seifert was perfectly positioned to represent his party, Emmer was better known for lobbing grenades from the peanut gallery.
Of course, the MN GOP rallied behind him. At least as best they could. Emmer got his campaign off on the wrong foot with his “servers make $100,000+” gaffe. And never really recovered. His campaign was horribly run and the candidate was a messaging buffoon.
But now that his boss Tony Sutton quit as Party Chair, former Deputy Party Chair Michael Brodkorb isn’t holding back.
In an interview with MPR, Brodkorb ridiculed Emmer, blaming him for the party’s inability to fundraise and for being the only candidate capable of losing to Mark Dayton. I love dirty laundry.
Brodkorb referred to Emmer as the “Bill Buckner of politics” – a reference to the Red Sox first baseman who made an error that cost his team the 1986 World Series.
“I think Republicans nominated the one candidate who couldn’t possibly win in 2010,” Brodkorb said.
Brodkorb also said the party had difficulty raising money because many donors weren’t happy that he was the nominee. He also said several Republican candidates didn’t want to campaign with Emmer because he was “toxic” to their campaigns.
Most of us aren’t aware of how bad it was. We were all too busy with our own internal food fights that were part-and-parcel of the run-up to the DFL primary. Furthermore, this kind of schadenfreude-licious stuff never leaks out during a campaign.
Here’s more on how bad it was. Brodkorb was asked to elaborate and he did:
I don’t believe most party activists realized how dire the situation was for the party. We couldn’t mention Emmer’s name in generic fundraising scripts for the call center. After the tip-credit debacle, candidates for statewide and legislative office didn’t want to campaign with Emmer. We also had a problem getting surrogates to defend Emmer, so it fell to then-Chairman Sutton and myself.
Just look at the polls: Survey USA released a poll immediately following the MN GOP State Convention and Emmer had an 8-point lead over Dayton. Survey USA released a poll in early August and Emmer was down to Dayton by 14-points – a 22-point swing. The messaging mistakes made by Tom Emmer in the months following the convention cost him the election.
Legislators and others who worked so hard to ensure Emmer was endorsed were suddenly unavailable to help defend Emmer from the attacks in the weeks after the convention.
Brodkorb went on to emphasize how all legislators who backed Emmer at the convention were AWOL on Emmer’s campaign and went on to say they know who they are.