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Monday, May 07, 2018

McCain wants to be Wellstone II

Paul Wellstone was the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants who wrestled his way through college. Literally. He was the undefeated Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling champion in his weight class. He went on to teach political science. Then he ran for and won a Senate seat and served 12 years.

But he is best known for his disastrous funeral, which Democrats turned into an embarrassing campaign rally. His name is now synonymous with inappropriate politicization of apolitical events.

Senator John McCain decided to hold Wellstone II as his funeral.

He invited George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- his rivals who schlonged him for the presidency -- but has banned President Trump from attending.

Showing all the loyalty of jackrabbit, on McCain's way out, he has denounced his running mate Sarah Palin, proving once and for all he and his staff sabotaged her. What man does that to a woman? Or for that matter, another man.

But that is McCain.

In arranging his funeral as a display of Never Trumpism -- and I hope the tirades are loud and mean (I want these people to expose their hate and anger) -- McCain has shown he learned nothing from Wellstone's experience.

Unlike McCain, Wellstone never arranged or wanted a Wellstone funeral.

On the sixth anniversary of that disaster, Doug Grow of the Minnesota Post wrote a reflection on it 10 years ago.

"It was the emotional evening four days later that ended up altering the state's political landscape and sending the Republican candidate, Norm Coleman, to Washington," Grow wrote.

George Latimer, the former mayor of St. Paul, hosted the service at Williams Arena. Wellstone died along with his wife, their daughter, two campaign aides, a family friend, and two pilots in a plane crash.

Latimer asked Rick Kahn, a close Wellstone friend, to speak. That was a mistake. Kahn was his campaign treasurer.

"When he started speaking, there was nothing out of the ordinary,'' said Latimer.

"He was just nervous and sad. I remember, I simply felt grief for him because you could feel his grief. It was not until well into his remarks that you could feel his shift. He was going beyond expressing love and loss for Paul and into the arena of winning an election. You knew that was clanking badly.''

Kahn turned it into a campaign rally, despite Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's presence. Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad had the misfortune of following Kahn on stage.

Some people left early, including Independent Governor Jesse Ventura.

Latimer thought Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin could have saved the day when he spoke later.

"He had a chance to say something to all of those Republicans, and he didn't. He could have thanked all of Paul's friends for coming. Instead, he gave a stemwinder,'' Latimer said.

This is how McCain has chosen to exit this life.

Well, it's his funeral.

22 comments:

  1. Way to Wellstone McCain's final wishes Don. Man, you crack me up.

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  2. McCain wants to leave this world remembered as a bitter, angry, vengeful, lonely, isolated old man, attacking friends and allies. He suffered tremendous physical pain for this country, so I'm willing to cut him some slack, but it's really sad to see that he wants to go out this way.

    Still, it's the path he chose. May God have mercy on his soul
    -TK

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    1. You got to be kidding me,the only physical pain suffered is by us ,the American people.And God has mercy on a person who repents.

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  3. Didn’t know Wellstone was a college rassler. Undefeated too!! He was a tough man.

    That funeral was a debacle. I can still hear the echos of Harkin’s “for Paul. For Paul. For Paul”...

    McCain was trailing Barry Sotero until he selected Sarah Palin. She made his race competitive. She energized me. He chopped her down.

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    1. I voted for Palin, not McCain, bet a lot of future Trumpers did, too.

      Had the ticket been Palin/McCain, they would probably have won - first Woman Pres!

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    2. The beating he would have taken had he not chose Palin would have been historical. I wonder if she'll attend.

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  4. There is only one reason I'd agree to visit Arizona again. To p!ss on McCain's grave.

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    1. I'll go with you. Make sure we drink our fair share of beer before visiting John.

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  5. When McCain's end comes, and for me it cannot come soon enough, Trump can be mean and spiteful or he can rise above it all. I truly expect him to rise above the pettiness of the small, dying man who once showed steely courage in the face of the enemy. In accordance with the provisions of the US Flag Code, Trump should order the US flag to be flown at half-staff for a day, issue a short, neutral condolence statement to acknowledge McCain's military service and his time in the Senate, but say nothing more of a personal nature. McCain will not be missed by many outside his immediate family. His graceless departure will not be soon forgotten or forgiven.

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  6. When he beat Fomney for the nomination and was about to go against Obama both McCain and Romney sooke at the NRA national meeting in Louisville. The tepid reception McCain got that day told me we were not going to win that year. At the time I was mainly upset at my fellow members' lack of loyalty. Since then, seeing the way he conducted himself, I realize that he's bought and paid for and a disgrace to us. His service record was hidden from oublic view the same way we have been unable to see that of the man who defeated him for the presidency.

    McCain and Barack Obama are practically the same man.

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    1. Loyalty was not McCain's strong suit: he pissed on his Republican colleagues and disparaged Republican voters more than I would like to count. It wasn't him being honest or being a maverick, it was just him acting like a petulant child who was super pissed he didn't get his way. He won't be missed.

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  7. I admit that I never thought much of McCain and I think even less of him now.

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  8. So long as John McCain attends I do not care who else is invited.

    -Mikey NTH

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  9. I can't wait to not attend mccain's funeral. I just wish he'd hurry up.
    I also voted for Palin. If she wasn't on the ticket that would have been the first presidential election I would have sat out. Even then, I voted because I thought at his age he would have died in office. Shame on Arizona for electing and re-electing this pauling 5 crook.

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  10. Don, thanks for your blog and your books. It is sad that John McCain has decided to go out in such a classless way.

    My comments will be about the Paul Wellstone I knew as a young man. I entered UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 1961 the year before Paul arrived, and I met him the first week of my sophomore year. At 5'5" Paul was an athletic dynamo from northern Virginia who was as clean cut a young man as one can imagine. He did not come to Carolina on a wrestling scholarship because wrestling was not a scholarship sport at Carolina at the time. He did have scholarship opportunities at other schools. My memory is that he wrestled for two years, but it may have been one. He was undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference (he had one draw as I remember) and he was conference champion in his weight class. However, my memory is he had some defeats to powerhouse wrestling programs outside the ACC.

    What I remember most about young Paul Wellstone during the 1962-1963 school year is that he was constantly lovesick for his high school girlfriend who had decided to go to the University of Kentucky. When I arrived in Chapel Hill for the fall semester of 1963 Paul and his high school sweetheart had both recently turned 19 years old and were married. She had dropped out of UK and had a job on campus. My recollection is that Paul graduated a year early (with my class). He then attended grad school at Carolina.

    I next, and last, saw Paul in October of 1968 while visiting my future wife in Chapel Hill. It was at a campus snack bar where he recognized me and invited me to sit at the table where he was alone. The clean cut young man looked like a hippie. He was a young father a few months away from getting his PhD. He was still desperately in love with his wife (as he apparently remained until their deaths).

    I've often wondered since his funeral during the fall of 2002 what Paul would have thought of it. He was an acquaintance rather than a friend who I had not had a conversation with for 34 years. We certainly had discussed politics and by 1968 he was very left wing while I identified as a classical liberal of the Austrian (Hayek) school. Still, I cannot imagine the young man I was acquainted with who was always so caring and kind agreeing with what happened at his funeral.

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  11. That funeral marked the beginning of the DFL death spiral in MN. I hope that McStains funeral launches a MAGA revival in AZ.

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  12. fancy waiting till you are on your death bed to out yourself as a swamp dweller. He won't be missed but never forgotten for lying his way to winning elections posing as a republican.Trump had his number from day one.

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    1. Well ... IIRC the AZ cross-over vote by Dems (not a closed Primary system) kept McCain re-elected. As is IMHO the Dem wont, to sow chaos and have big yucks. The damage that has been caused by the failure of the feeble Repub attempt at the sorta repeal of ObamaCare is on him, yo. I remember seeing a note on the private jet (tail-number-spotter!) taking Governor Palin to the Republican convention (to be announced as the surprise VP choice). Truly great acceptance address there! She is still so very cool: attended UH Hilo Hawaii for awhile (my home town, and close to the Leilani lava eruption, now in the national news).

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  13. Maybe they'll bury him next to Tokyo Rose.

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  14. He said he didn't want the president at his funeral. He ought to bury the hatchet with him (and not slap Gov. Palin on his way out the door). That having been said, I'm not seeing that as an indication that the funeral will be anything other than conventional.

    The Catholic Church has a rule (which local priests being 'pastoral' ignore) prohibiting eulogies. Eulogies, per instructions on liturgy, belong at wakes. It's regrettable all denominations do not follow this rule.

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