Readers of this blog know that I’ve recently had the privilege of introducing Sen. Coleman at the SD-15 GOP fundraiser. I’ve never made it a secret that, while I disagreed with him on some of his votes, I’ve always considered him a statesman and a gentleman.

Following his announcement that he isn’t running for the endorsement to be the GOP gubernatorial candidate, I can’t help but say that my respect for Sen. Coleman has never been higher. This portion of his announcement is vintage Norm Coleman:

At the moment, I am tremendously energized by the work I am currently involved in to create a positive, center right agenda for this country. Anger on the left and anger on the right will get us nowhere. In Minnesota, we face a jobs deficit, a budget deficit and a bipartisanship deficit.

We must all put aside the bitterness and sniping and remember that behind every job loss and every home foreclosure is a Minnesota family losing hope and confidence.
I think I can be part of recreating a more civil and respectful politics, a politics that better expresses the will of the vast majority of people. I will continue my efforts to work with Republicans, Independents and moderate, common sense Democrats across the country to advance the values of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, effective government change, national security and respect for life.

To those of us who’ve known Norm, that’s typical Norm. First and foremost, Norm’s a gentleman and a statesman. Almost as importantly, Norm’s an optimist who genuinely thinks that America is a center-right nation.

The Norm I talked with a week ago was appalled with the extremist policies of this admininstration. Norm also seemed appreciative of the TEA Party movement. If Norm starts speaking out on those issues during this campaign cycle on behalf of local and statewide candidates, he’ll be a powerful advocate for entrepreneuriship and center-right policies.

I won’t pretend to know Norm well because I haven’t been an activist as long as some. Still, I got to know Norm a little during the 2008 campaign. A staple of his stump speeches was a story about a woman showing up at a politician’s funeral. A reporter approaches the woman and asks whether she knew the politician. The woman replied that she didn’t know the politician “but he sure knew me.” Norm was fond of saying that he loved being know as a politician who knew his constituents.

Anyone who’s ever known Norm knows that he is a man of the people. Most importantly, he’s the definition of statesman.

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4 Responses to “Let’s Applaud Sen. Coleman, Minnesota’s Statesman”

  • R-Five says:

    Here, here!

    What really excites me about this is that Seifert, Emmer, Hann, et al can continue educating the state about what needs to be done. Norm would have cut that off and the DFL would have made it all about personalities.

    For those who say Norm would have won and our presumably Conservative candidate will now lose, two points. One, Coleman would sign many bills our candidate would not, only half a loaf. Two, if our electorate is that dumb, one election won’t make a difference.

    You can’t fix stupid, not at the polls anyway. We have to remember to EDUCATIE voters along the campaign trail, not assume people get it like we did after Reagan left office.

  • J. Ewing says:

    I think you are exactly but unfortunately right. Norm is a statesman and gentleman, the last of his kind in politics. Democrats no longer care about bipartisanship except as sharing the blame. Very few of them even stop to consider ALL their constituents or “the greater good for the greatest number,” as they should do. They are hopelessly and wrongheadedly in pursuit of an ideology, or just the passing vapor of an ideology, serving even that ineffectively.

    Norm has always been right, always wanted to do what is right, always wanted to have us all “join hands and do our best.” Too bad there is no one left in government, at least on the left side of the aisle, for him to do it with. We need the iron fist in the velvet glove as our next governor.

  • eric z. says:

    You omitted the important part of the Coleman statement:

    “[…T]his is not the right time for me and my family to conduct a campaign for Governor.

    “Timing is everything. The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late. It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go. The commitments I have to my family and the work I am currently engaged in do not allow me to now go forward.”

    And I believe you and others truly cheapen the word “statesman” in using it as you have, regarding this individual.

    And I wonder if you have any better idea than I do why he omitted an affirmative plea to GOP donors to get behind another choice or choices as the race this year is important? Did he not think of others, their hopes, but only himself; or did he think such a statement was implicit – that he is freeing up the money tree for whoever to shake it?

    Any thoughts on why he omitted mention of the money tree? It is not unimportant as a factor.

    And a Sherman statement would have been even more definitive, “If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve.”

    To me I see weasel-room being left for a “Draft Norm” effort to somehow arise from wherever?

    Surely I can be viewed as a cynic, so Gary and J.Ewing, do either or both of you see this as fully closing the door on there somehow being a “Draft Norm” thing in the next few months?

    Do you see it as a full Sherman statement, or leaving a door ajar?

  • Gary Gross says:

    And I believe you and others truly cheapen the word “statesman” in using it as you have, regarding this individual.

    Whatever. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Norm. He’s one of the most honorable politicians I’ve ever met.

    And a Sherman statement would have been even more definitive, “If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve.” To me I see weasel-room being left for a “Draft Norm” effort to somehow arise from wherever?

    I don’t see any weasel room. I’d agree that he didn’t close the door for future campaigns but he’s said tht he’d abide by the endorsement process.

    Next time, do more research.

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