Like a lot of things, it depends on who you talk to.
There are people, probably diehard Democrats, who loved the memorial service Tuesday night for Paul Wellstone.
Others, many of them loyal Republicans, felt the memorial service turned into a campaign rally for the Democrats as much as a tribute to the late senator.
Others, like one Independent we know, were so disgusted that they left the Williams Arena event early. Yep, that's what Gov. Jesse Ventura did. And we don't blame him.
The event started as a celebration of the life of Wellstone, his wife, his daughter and the campaign aides killed in the plane crash. But when longtime campaign aide Rick Kahn spoke the tempo turned political.
If you shut your eyes and just listened to the campaign rhetoric, especially when he begged the Republicans to vote Democratic to keep the Wellstone legacy alive, you would have thought you were listening to a nominating speech at the Democratic National Convention. Of course, if you shut your eyes you would have missed the images being shown on the giant TV in the area as Kahn spoke.
It was clear it was all carefully scripted. And it smacked of a political show at a time when the Republicans respectfully said they wouldn't be campaigning. It was clear Walter Mondale's campaign started Tuesday night on the University of Minnesota campus without Sen. Mondale having to utter a word. Just flashing a smile as he entered was enough to bring the barn down.
Now maybe we know why the Wellstone family didn't want Vice President Richard Cheney to attend the event. The story was that Cheney's appearance would have meant too much security. Could the real reason have been that the memorial service organizers realized how embarrassing it would have been for the Republican Cheney to sit through the Democratic pep rally?
Paul Wellstone deserved a fine memorial service. Turning it into a celebration of his life would have been a fitting tribute to the small man who became so big for the liberal cause on the national stage.
There is a chance that the event could cost the Democrats votes on Tuesday.
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