Thank you, Jim Oberstar

In 1988 I was a kid whose dad was the site manager for our family-owned junkyard, where we also lived. My dad was a libertarian, my mom a silent liberal, and our family name was both literally and figuratively the color of mud. That year I had an opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., as a contest winner and was toured around the capitol. My senators were fine, I guess, delivering perfunctory office visits (or ditching, in one case). Jim Oberstar, however, spent almost two hours with us, touring me behind the scenes in Congress and offering a cavalcade of history and stories about America, our government and his day-to-day job. It was an absolutely inspiring experience for me, probably changed my life as much as any other part of that trip. I was from a oily, junked-up, scrub brush swamp just off the iron formation, and after that I never once considered that my life had limitations. I had been shown the workings and there was no reason to believe I couldn’t see all the workings of this great, strange world.

Thanks, Jim.

That is what I’m thinking of this morning. Nevertheless, congratulations to Chip Cravaack. When my day settles down just a bit I’m going to talk about his remarkable victory and what Democrats should be thinking about next.


  1. It was time for a change, Iron Range residents were not satisfied with the fact that Oberstar was not truly even a resident of the area (yes, he owns a home in Gilbert and uses it very seldom).

    Perhaps his biggest mistake was taking a “grumpier old man” stance during his debates. My father described him as Jeff Dunhams “Walter”. It seems that Oberstar lost his political moxy. Too bad.

  2. I think this is one of those posts that don’t really need a political discussion. It’s just Aaron telling us how he felt at that moment. A lot of us who have lived on the Range our whole lives probably had a similar feeling or story the morning of the 3rd. I know the point of a blog is to get web-traffic and discussion … but this one just seems it should be Aaron’s this time. (I’m sorry for even replying here …)

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