The excitement mounts in Atlanta as members of the Democratic National Committee gather to choose their new chairman tomorrow. The Star Tribune’s Allison Sherry could have taken the opportunity to remedy the paper’s long default on Ellison’s outré past in Minneapolis. Sherry and her colleagues at the Star Tribune have left it to others, most notably Tim Murphy at Mother Jones, to perform the historical excavation that Ellison’s candidacy warrants. This past Sunday, Star Tribune commentary editor and columnist Doug Tice ever so tactfully hinted at what readers who get their news from the Star Tribune have missed.
In the Star Tribune’s Morning Hot Dish email newsletter this morning, Sherry reports that she got six minutes with Ellison between meetings as he was campaigning yesterday in Atlanta. Sherry asked Ellison whether he thought his early support for Sanders hurt him in his bid for the DNC chairmanship. Sherry quotes his response in part:
“I see it as a fact beyond change. It’s like saying does my height hurt me or help me in this basketball game. Well, I am this height, so I better learn how to dribble and pass the ball and get an outside shot. So I don’t spend a minute on whether it hurts or helps. It’s a fact that this is what it is. Have I ever regretted supporting Bernie? Never, not for one second. But I didn’t support Bernie because I’m into his personality. I supported Bernie because Bernie was raising up legitimate concerns of people who have been left behind in the globalized economy … That’s what I think is key and important. I stand on it and then I supported Hillary Clinton and I was proud to do so.”
In Ellison’s world, no fact is beyond change. He can always lie about it, as he has done as frequently as necessary. But the guy talks a good game. If the Democrats need a hustler who can talk, Ellison may be the man. He must think that if he can keep talking he can keep observers from looking too closely and it is an approach that has worked well for him so far.