Background to the Franken-Coleman battle: A History of Minnesota's Quirky Jewish Senate Seat

The Minnesota St. Paul Legal Ledger reviews the quirky history of the senate seat that has been held by a Jew for thirty years in a state where there are more Lakes than Jews in all but 2 of its counties.

My most cherished episode was when Wellstone trounced Boschwitz after Rudy's great last minute Bad-Jew attack -- nicely summarized in the article, "Jewish senators: ‘An oddly persistent Minnesota tradition’" by Betsy Sundquist, as follows:
...Judaism did, however, become a campaign issue in 1990 during the Boschwitz-Wellstone campaign, but not because of Minnesota anti-Semitism.

Less than a week before the election that year, with the two candidates locked in a tight race but with Wellstone gaining ground on Boschwitz, the incumbent senator’s campaign sent a soon-to-be-infamous letter to Jewish groups in the state.

The letter trumpeted Boschwitz’s support for Jewish causes, but it went further: It also said Wellstone was married to a Christian, that he was raising his children as “non-Jews,” and that he had no ties to the Jewish community.

Minnesotans didn’t take kindly to the implications, and neither did Wellstone, who launched a counterattack: full-page newspaper ads two days before Election Day, complaining that Boschwitz was attacking him “because my wife is a Christian.”

Pundits acknowledge that the so-called “better Jew” letter, and the subsequent backlash, helped Wellstone squeak past Boschwitz by just 48,000 votes.

Time magazine chose Boschwitz as one of its “losers of 1990,” saying that the letter had caused the senator to be “buried by his own mud.”
Politics at its worst that leads to the outcome that is the best. Proving again that God is Jewish (and a Democrat). I remember it well.

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