Republican Sen. Norm Coleman may be more anxious than anyone for the balloons to drop from the ceiling of the Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 4. The end of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul means Coleman can return to his top priority: saving his job.
As Paul Demko reported for the Minnesota Independent less than a month ago, 9 of 12 Republican Senate candidates running in the most competitive states are either skipping the convention or haven’t decided whether they’ll attend. Demko noted that Coleman, a former mayor of the host city, really had no choice in the matter. In a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Coleman conceded as much.
“If the convention wasn’t in St. Paul, I wouldn’t be at the convention,” he said.
Coleman’s race against DFL candidate Al Franken has tightened considerably in the last few weeks.
Though it’s not yet clear what role (if any) Coleman will have at the four-day national convention, it is time that the candidate would certainly prefer to be spending with voters on the campaign trail rather than with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on national television.