Yah, you betcha we talk a little funny up here in Minnesota, where Barack Obama will travel today to campaign for Tarryl Clark in Michele Bachmann’s district [see update]. Last we saw of Clark, she was nine points behind in a district Bachmann won by almost four in a Democratic landslide — more on that in a moment — so Obama may wind up with some time on his hands while in our state. Tim Pawlenty offers to help Obama understand the lingo in this video welcome, via Breitbart TV. And yah, you betcha, Pawlenty even manages to find ways to work Minnesota-ese into sentences about politics. Yikes!
On a more serious note, several people have asked why Obama is campaigning in Minnesota’s 6th CD [again, see update below]. Bachmann has outraised Clark by millions — in fact, she has outraised just about every House candidate around the country — and MN-06 isn’t going to flip Democrat in this cycle. So why bother? A few reasons. Minnesota may be one of the few states where Obama’s presence doesn’t actively harm Democrats, although that may really only be true in the Metro area districts of the 4th and 5th CD.
More to the point, though, Obama wants to force Bachmann to campaign at home rather than helping other Republicans and leading Tea Party rallies, and he wants to also put media focus on Bachmann as some sort of argument about supposed “extremism” in the Republican Party. It’s the same reason he campaigned for Chris Coons in Delaware against Christine O’Donnell. The President gets tons of media attention, and he’s using it to push the Democratic Party narrative in the safest environs he can find.
Will it work? Eh … not so much.
Update: My good friend Scott Johnson at Power Line notes that Obama is making a campaign stop today at the U for Dayton, and that Bill Clinton will be campaigning for Tarryl Clark in the 6th CD. A couple of weeks ago, I was told that Obama would hit both, but after Scott’s e-mail, I can’t recall for certain what the source of that information was. I could be wrong about that. An Obama appearance at the University of Minnesota for Mark Dayton does make good political sense for both men, since Obama still is popular in Minneapolis and Dayton won’t get hurt by linking to him with those voters. I’m not sure it helps Dayton elsewhere in the state, but it’s not necessarily going to hurt, either, since Obama’s approval ratings are more or less even in Minnesota.
Update II: Glenn Reynolds has a lengthy interview with Pawlenty that is definitely worth watching.