Now, to be clear, I have no preconceived notion that an endorsement from me or this blog carries any weight amongst DFL circles or even amongst the general population but I felt it necessary to speak out in favor of a man for whom I had previously negative opinions.
It was at the annual Divots for Democrats fund raiser that I was able to meet and talk with Mr. Entenza for an extended period of time. Rather than working a room filled with more important and more influential Democrats than I, Entenza stood outside the room with myself and a friend of mine to talk. We talked some politics but for the most part we just engaged in small talk. It was a comfortable conversation about home towns, my disdain for the tv show Scrubs vs. his love of that show (which still might make me vote against him), and a sprinkle of education policy. He didn't give me the fake canned talking points that so many politicians resort to when engaging in one on one interactions. I left that event with an entirely new perspective and new appreciation about who Matt Entenza is and about whether or not I could support his candidacy. The Entenza mythology that floats around out there just didn't appear to hold any water.
That isn't the only factor which has lead me to choose Entenza for 2010...
When it comes to issues there is no single issue more important to me than education. In fact, a large percentage of my vote is based upon who the best education candidate will be. Based on that criteria, Entenza immediately rose to the top of the pack even amongst DFL candidates normally known for their friendly public education stances. The think tank he founded, Minnesota 2020, is the gold standard for anyone looking to understand the reasons we need to invest in public education. I fully expect Entenza will bring this research and this policy perspective to the Governor's office.
With so many decent choices for Governor (I had a particularly enjoyable interaction with Tom Rukavina at the state fair) there really aren't any completely WRONG choices in my humble opinion. For my part though, I have decided that the best choice for education and therefore the best choice for the state, is Matt Entenza.