The FIX is in with its Top Ten rematches for 2014 selecting one Minnesota potential contest :
9. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) vs. former state representative Mike Obermueller (D). Obermueller announced his plans for a rematch last spring, but unseating Kline won’ be easy. The Republican’s been in office for more than a decade and won by a fairly comfortable margin against Obermueller last year. If Kline finds himself in trouble here come November, it will spell bad news nationally for the GOP.
Let’s analyze :
“unseating Kline won’ be easy” … true, Chairman Kline is a fighter … just ask David Gerson who is feeling the venom over tweets that a campaign staffer made before the campaign began and is being questioned over Gerson’s being truly Pro-Life enough.
“The Republican’s been in office for more than a decade” … gosh, do voters realize that Kline is long past the old “term-limit” stage and would be hard pressed to identify an accomplishment for the District.
“won by a fairly comfortable margin against Obermueller last year” … True … on the Federal ballot, the District held with the incumbents (Obama, Klobuchar and Kline) where name recognition is established … yet this provides Obermueller essential data on what precincts and districts to focus in delivering his message.
“If Kline finds himself in trouble here come November, it will spell bad news nationally for the GOP” …. true … and that “If” means that the GOP and its “investors” will unleash tremendous amounts of cash for Chairman Kline.
The “past” tells us a lot about Chairman Kline … he will not debate or participate in forums… he will respond to reporter questions via email … he will “blitz” the District red and white to present the image of invincibility … he will preach a social message and complain about “wasteful Washington spending” (without ever acknowledging that his party dictates the legislative agenda.)
Yet, it is Kline’s “past” record that may be his problem.
The Kline-backed Budget Control Act (“This legislation would institutionally reform how the federal government spends taxpayer money while preserving the full faith and credit of the United States.”) produced the sequester which lead to the GOP Shutdown … which would not have happened without his support … in the end, citizens saw the Kline Agenda in action … with the final result being passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 where Republicans and Democrats in a bipartisan vote authorized additional funding for Early Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grants, Impact Aid, Career and Technical Education — all programs that Chairman Kline wanted cut. His legislative accomplishment this term is to raise student loan interest rates so that the US Treasury makes a profit and his reform of No Child Left Behind was rejected by even his normal supporters such as the US Chamber of Commerce. His main complaint has been the inability to “reform in entitlement spending” leaving citizens seeing how he has approached education, will wonder in fear what he will do with Social Security and Medicare.
Yes, the “If” is possible … and this time with the DCCC has already laid the groundwork … remember this ad using an Eagan Mom :
“You know, I couldn’t be more proud of my kids, but there’s nothing easy about paying for college. It’s why I’ll never understand those guys in Washington, like Congressman Kline. Kline’s trying to pass a law that could more than double the interest rate on college loans. Kline calls it a ‘smarter solution.’ Must be one of those things Congressman Kline learned from being in Washington for over a decade. In Eagan, Minnesota, we call it just plain stupid !
The result as reported in the Lakeville Patch: Kline Trails Obermueller in Recent Poll
Say what you want but when The FIX says this is a race to watch, it is.
Caveat : The candidates for the November election has not been finalized yet as Mike Obermueller, Tom Craft and Paula Overby are competing for the DFL slot and John Kline and David Gerson are seeking the MN-GOP slot.