Daily Reformer: When Minnesota Nice is not so nice.

Midwest not so nice.

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The moderate Democratic candidates chasing the frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders have a “collective action problem.” They’d all be better off if they collaborated to take down Sanders because there may be enough Democratic voters to anoint an alternative to the 78 year old Vermont socialist. 

But none of the moderate lane candidates will give up his or her own individual interest — and more important: ambition — and get out of the race so that Sanders can be stopped. Because, they all reason: why shouldn’t it be me? 

A reader compared it to the “prisoners’ dilemma,” when the two prisoners in separate cells would be better off remaining totally silent but take a deal from the cops in exchange for a lesser sentence because they fear the other is making his own deal. 

That was apparently on full display during Wednesday’s night debate, when our own Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg — both occupants of the moderate lane and both needing to consolidate the anti-Bernie vote — tore into each other. 

A Washington Post reporter noted, “Klobuchar’s seething contempt for Mayor Pete is really something to behold.”

Klobuchar shoved a classic “Minnesota (n)ice” dagger into Buttigieg: “I wish everyone were as perfect as you are, Pete.” 

As prolific tweeter @Avocadoplex put it: “I love that the world is getting to see what Minnesota Nice actually means.”

David Axelrod, who helped elect the last Democratic president, was unsparing about Klobuchar: 

Moving up in politics is exhilarating.  When you get to upper tiers, it gets harder.

@amyklobuchar’s performance has been as bad tonight as she was good in New Hampshire.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren seems to have had the best night.

By all accounts Michael Bloomberg had it worst. I feared for Bloomberg’s biggest Minnesota fan Ben Petok and that his vasoconstrictors were slowly coming undone. He retweeted out a telling saving grace: “Just remember that millions more people will see Bloomberg’s ads than will have watched tonight’s debate.” 

Burns and Martin in The Times

“The Democratic presidential candidates turned on one another in scorching and personal terms in a debate on Wednesday night….The unrelenting attacks reflected the urgency of the moment, as Mr. Sanders gains strength and those hoping to slow his candidacy are increasingly crowded out by Mr. Bloomberg and his unprecedented spending spree.”

Walz got stood up by who?!

A new problem for Gov. Tim Walz (and the entire metro?) He was in Washington last week for a meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The big agenda item: the $1 billion we need for Southwest Light Rail. Chao didn’t show up and sent staff instead. Ruh-roh. Who can tell me what happened? Seems like something we should know. [email protected] 

Walz  is doing the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition Housing Summit at Christ Lutheran Church this morning; meeting tribal leaders from the Red Lake Nation as part of Red Lake Day at the Capitol; meeting with Minnesota Grocers Association; and then continuing the Triangulation Tour (that’s my title, not theirs,) he’ll meet Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for another closed press meeting.


There’s an anti-vaxx rally at the Capitol Thursday. Here’s Ricardo’s recent reporting on the bevvy of Minnesota lawmakers who are anti-vaxxy.  

A bill descriptor: Telemedicine evaluations use to prescribe medications for erectile dysfunction authorization.

Passed along without comment for fear of unintentional double entendre. 

Today at the Legislature of interest: Rep. Dave Pinto’s early childhood legislation HF1; very inside baseball but a fascinating milestone as the new Legislative Budget Office will make a presentation to Senate Finance; Rep. Eric Lucero wears amazing suits and has a lot of legislation up today in House Judiciary; Rep. Brad Tabke’s transit ambassador and fare skipping decrim bill up. House and Senate both in session. Full schedule

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, with some serious trolling of his state Sen. Matt Little. It’s a little convoluted so let me explain: Garofalo invited Sens. Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni to a “listening session” on mining in his suburban Farmington district. (Is there a mine by the Chipotle?) The reason may have something to do with the DFL state senator that represents the district. That’s Matt Little, who was firmly on Team Kent in the recent leadership battle with Bakk and has a tough reelection campaign coming up. 

SEIU Local 26 strike deadline will be set this morning. That could affect downtown Minneapolis buildings. Max wrote about it here

Saint Paul PD Chief Todd Axtell and some lawmakers want to do away with a clause in the Minnesota Constitution that allows for slavery. Article I, Section 2 reads:

“There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the state otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted.”

News conference Thursday at 9:15 at the Capitol. 

Rep. Jim Hagedorn was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer a year ago and is being treated at the Mayo Clinic, he announced Wednesday. Still running for reelection. Get well, congressman. 

Finally, this is an older piece but it seems particularly timely as everyone just knows that their candidate in the primary is the best one to beat Trump and fix America’s income inequality and broken soul and yada yada yada. It’s about intellectual humility in a time of social media fueled certainties: 

“It’s about entertaining the possibility that you may be wrong and being open to learning from the experience of others. Intellectual humility is about being actively curious about your blind spots. One illustration is in the ideal of the scientific method, where a scientist actively works against her own hypothesis, attempting to rule out any other alternative explanations for a phenomenon before settling on a conclusion. It’s about asking: What am I missing here? It doesn’t require a high IQ or a particular skill set. It does, however, require making a habit of thinking about your limits, which can be painful.”

I think I may have played this game before during my last gig — forgive me, I’ve written hundreds of these things — but let’s play again: Give me an example of something you just knew to be true but then you figured out you were wrong. [email protected] 

Have a great day all!