Walter Mondale and Norm Coleman walked out of their one debate Monday with the same mission: to turn out their voters.
Mondale began at a crowded rally with the rock band Soul Asylum in Minneapolis and later began visiting with volunteers doing get-out-the-vote calls. Coleman kicked off his 16-city, 16-hour campaign swing in Mankato with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
At the rally in a plaza near Orchestra Hall, Mondale continued the sharp rhetoric seen in the debate, asking "Which Norm are we supposed to remember? Is it the one we heard this morning or the guy who ran the trashiest campaign in American history?" He later called Coleman's campaign against the late Sen. Paul Wellstone "unremittingly mean."
Coleman said he was dismayed at the debate's tone. "Right-wing this and right-wing that," he said at his first stop. "We've got to get away from that tone."
But by Coleman's third stop he seemed to have set aside such concerns. "I don't think that anybody wants to go back to double-digit inflation, 24 percent interest rates, grain embargoes and hostages in Iran," he told a crowd of about 100 at McCormick's Family Restaurant in Hutchinson.
It was all fitting epilogue to a debate in which Mondale seemed to surprise his opponent with questions about whether Coleman would be independent from the White House, "right wingers," and the corporate-backed interests that have given to his campaign.
For governor candidates, the finish line in sight
On the final day of the 2002 campaign, the Independence Party's drive to keep the governor's office suffered at the hands of its incumbent.
IP candidate Tim Penny pulled the plug on a rally with Gov. Jesse Ventura at the Capitol in St. Paul, scheduled just two hours after Ventura appointed party organizer Dean Barkley as Minnesota's interim U.S. senator.
Penny campaign manager Jack Uldrich said Ventura's timing couldn't have been worse. "It clearly took us off message," he said. "It was not beneficial."
The conflict came just when Penny most needed Ventura. Polls taken last week showed Penny's support slipping and the two major party candidates, Democrat Roger Moe and Republican Tim Pawlenty, declared in recent days the race was now just between them.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.