Friday, March 12, 2010


"If national research on voting is any indicator, only a small number of people will base their vote on issues outlined in platforms. Most will fill out a ballot based on their perceptions of candidate personalities and likability," said psychology professor Melanie Green.

"Politicians in national and state elections have problems conveying their true personality to voters. Candidates are subject to the whims of fickle voters and word-of-mouth opinions that shape public perception," she said.

As a result, most voters tend to cast their votes on the limited portrait created by signs, personal connections and word-of-mouth characterizations.

The personal connection some voters feel with a candidate is the main factor in how he or she will vote. The written platform of a candidate is just not enough for many voters to go by. Public forums and personal conversations sway more voters than candidate websites or campaign literature.

Some people vote on the basis of religious convictions. Some churches tell their parishioners who to vote for. Check out this website for an eye opener as to what some church goers are told.

For those who insist on voting by candidate personalities, keep reading. Here's my take on the personalities of the DFL gubernatorial candidates.

Tom Bakk - He seems kind of gruff on the surface but I suspect he's an old softie on the inside. I'll be he can be tough as nails in the legislature, though. From what he has said about his new grandbaby, it's obvious that he's a loving family man. He spent his childhood summers at a church camp where his father was the director, so I'm pretty sure he was brought up with values. He loves the outdoors. Anyone who loves trees, meadows, fields and lakes is okay in my book.

Mark Dayton - Ok, where should we start? Dayton's life is pretty much an open book since he has revealed so much about his personal life over the years, especially in Christmas cards and letters. Nothing wrong with that as long as its by his own choice. Almost everyone who knows Mark agrees that he's a kind, caring and compassionate person. Some say that's all for political reasons, but I don't believe that. A small portion of it might be, but hey, he's been in politics a long, long time. To me, Mark is the kind of guy that you want to bring to meet your friends, your neighbors, your kids and even your whiny cat. You want to bring him to Toastmasters because you know he would fit in so well. He's just the kind of guy you want to hug, like a favorite teddy bear. Mark has a great personality and a wonderful, although sometimes dry, sense of humor. He also has a very quick wit. He gets things right away. He gets his feathers ruffled sometimes, but they soon settle back down again and all is fine. Also, he loves dogs, cats and children. So we know we can trust him. He's got a history of keeping promises. If he says he'll do something, then you can be sure that he'll do it. He's the kind of guy you think would be great fun on a first date, but then you wonder if he would bring his attorney along. (Just kidding.) Basically, Mark Dayton is a very endearing man. Isn't it time we had an endearing governor? Think of what a great change that would be. Plus, with all the decades of public service experience, he'd know how to get things done and make Minnesota a great state again. He's got a good heart. Let's elect a good-hearted governor. Our two-timing governor that we have now, Governor Veto, can begone!

Matt Entenza - It's been said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. The problem is that I can't see Matt's eyes. He's 6'5". I'm 5'4". I would need a stepladder. So let's listen to his voice instead. You can tell a lot about a person by his voice. Matt's is mellow and soft-spoken. That usually means slow to anger. And quick to let bygones be bygones. He's proven that he can stand up for what's right, though. He stood up to Governor Pawlenty and the governor backed down. So I conclude that Matt is a great guy to be around but he will move quickly to protect what he believes in. Matt must care about people. The evidence is his hard work in protecting consumers and families. Matt must be a pretty good guy or he wouldn't have been married for 24 years. That says a lot. And he must be smart. He's the founder of the progressive think tank called Minnesota 2020. Plus, according to blogger Dyna, he's very likeable. Blogger Grace Kelly said that "Matt is quiet, reserved and responsible. Matt has always been trustworthy. My neighborhood likes him." By the way, I just read that Entenza is not's Catalonian.

Susan Gaertner - She makes me think of Laverne and Shirley, Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days and Betty Rizzo from Grease. Gaertner is real. She's tough. She's street smart. It's be hard to pull the wool over her eyes. She's the one you'd want for a best friend. The one you'd turn to if you had a problem. You might not like everything she says, but you'd know that she was telling it like it is. She doesn't pull any punches.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - I don't know much about Margaret because I've never talked to her at length. I suspect that she's pretty darn smart and that she likes to win. She must practice her speeches diligently because her speaking skills are almost perfect. A few people have said that they feel she talks down to them or talks to them like they are school kids. Maybe she just wants to get her point across. Mary Lahammer said that "Anderson-Kelliher and Pawlenty just simply get along better than Pogemiller and Pawlenty." If Kelliher can get along even somewhat with Pawlenty, she probably is doing better than most DFLers. Perhaps she has some good negotiation skills. I do think MAK is a hard worker. Most farm kids are.

John Marty - He's got a reputation for being highly ethical and moral. He doesn't take lobby money or PAC money. Apparently he's the only candidate who doesn't. He's kind of quiet usually, but he can get nicely fired up when he's campaigning on his issues. He's a hard worker, too. Just look at all the bills he authored. John definitely has the courage of his convictions. He's outspoken about his beliefs. I don't know John personally, except for having met him several times at various events. I do think that he truly cares about Minnesota as well as about the plight of individuals. He always asks after my health in a concerned manner.

R. T. Rybak - No hidden surprises here. R. T. is upfront. He's got a positive attitude about almost everything. He's nearly always cheerful. He's proud of what he's done in Minneapolis. He's glad that a lot of people have benefitted from his innovations. R. T. Rybak has motivation. He's got charisma. He loves people and enjoys a crowd. His best asset is his knack for making each person he talks to feel special. He comes early and leaves late as much as he can with his tight schedule. No one feels that Rybak is anxious to rush away. There's nothing elusive about him He isn't surrounded by staffers who try to protect him from the crowd. You couldn't keep R. T. away from the people. He adores them. He's easy to get along with, too. Plus he's always smiling, which draws people to him.

Tom Rukavina - He's spunky, mischievious, entertaining and has a heart of gold. Yet he can stand up strong against those who need standing up to, such as certain Republican politicians. Rukavina likes to have a good time but is totally serious when the situation calls for it. This can especialy be seen when he's working on behalf of his constituents. Tom Rukavina is a physical person. He likes to hug people, which in turn makes them feel good and makes them want to vote for him. I don't think he does it for political reasons, though. I think he's just a very friendly guy who has a lot of love in his heart. He's also rather opinionated and won't hesitate to say what he thinks.

Paul Thissen - I really like Paul. He's so friendly. He's innocent, too. He's the boy next door type. Plus he's really smart. I like the fact that if Paul gets new information that shows his previous views were wrong (which I suspect happens very seldomly), he is willing to change his viewpoint. Just like a true scientist. Paul's a great speaker and can truly connect with his audience. He appears to be happily married to his beautiful wife, who is also an excellent speaker. Paul can bring people together so that they will want to work together to get things done. He's got a soothing voice. He'll ask the opinions of others, too, about various issues. And he cares about children. He's the one who got 20,000 more children the health care access that they needed so badly. Talk to Paul and see for yourself what a great guy he is.


  1. I think Dayton is probably the best and smartest of our excellent choices, but as far as personality is concerned, I find him to be rather awkward and somewhat nervous outside of a stump speech-type conversation. Not that I have anything against awkward people; I quite like them, but most people don't care for that trait. Also I'm troubled by the fact that so many (30% of) Minnesotans have a "very negative" opinion of him (recent Rasmussen poll), and then there's that whole office-closing business.

  2. All the negative things the Republicans have said about him, and most of it misrepresentations and exaggerations, can't have done much for his self-confidence. He's got a lot of strength to be able to withstand all that. He's got his political personna and he's got his personal personna. When you meeti him in person he's just a regular guy. Kind of shy and kind of cool.


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