Bern and Hill (
by Steve Timmer
May 18, 2016, 4:00 PM

Who would Paul Wellstone support?

The contest for the Democratic nomination for president baffles me, frankly. I really wish that Paul Wellstone, one of Minnesota’s most iconic Democrats ever, and my own personal political North Star, was around to give us his thoughts. Sen. Wellstone often remarked that he was part of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Someone decided to run for office because he wanted to reclaim Paul’s Senate seat. Another well-known DFLer recounts that he left academic life for politics when Wellstone’s plane crashed. Paul was apparently a political paterfamilias for them. These are affecting stories.

And just today, I got an email from that holder of Paul’s Senate seat telling me about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, even though it is plain that one of the candidates supports it, or will, should she be elected.

And yet, these persons, and other well-known Democrats, favor Hillary Clinton, a candidate who seems to me to be the antithesis of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. But gee, maybe I am mistaken.

So here’s the essay contest: channel your inner Paul Wellstone and tell me whether you favor Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, and why. There really won’t be any judging of entries, except in the court of public opinion. If you have a single issue, or multiple ones, that’s fine. You can submit more than one. I hope this will be a continuing project.

You can send in your essay via the comment button, or you can send me an email at steve at left dot mn. Try to keep your submissions to 500 words or so, but I am not going to count.

I am not going to edit you, either (well, maybe for grammar and spelling; I try to make commenters look good), so please remember that you are a spokester for your favored candidate. I will use your full name, your first name (as we do with comments), or you may be anonymous, although I must know who you are; I will respect your desire for anonymity. LeftMN has the final decision to publish a submission or not.

Update: There have been a few tweets, Facebook messages, etc., saying: clearly Wellstone would support Bernie. But no essays, so far. C’mon people. You don’t have to write in Wellstone’s voice, but who do you think he’d support?

Update II: Still no essays about who Paul Wellstone would have supported. However, Governor Dayton invokes his name in his support of Hillary Clinton at the DFL state convention.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.