Minnesota

John Hammond and the Myth of the Musical King-Maker
April 27, 2012

Nothing quite captures the myth of the vinyl-era music industry as a benevolent autocracy like the narrative of the career-making audition. A scruffy young unknown hitchhikes from the mine country of Minnesota to midtown Manhattan, where a white-haired and golden-eared man in a suit hears something in the boy that no one else has noticed and signs him to a record contract, through which fame and glory ensue.

The Real Loser of the Scott Walker Recall? The State of Wisconsin
April 13, 2012

On June 5, Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to decide whether to recall controversial Republican Governor Scott Walker and his lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. The current polling shows a close race. But while it’s not yet clear whether Walker will survive the vote, it’s increasingly safe to declare one winner and one loser from the recall election. The winner is the national Democratic Party, which is already reaping benefits.

Lucky Run
March 14, 2012

Since launching his second campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney has resolutely insisted he favored a health care requirement only for Massachusetts residents, not as a matter of national policy.

Candid Camera
February 22, 2012

“You’re back, William!” Tim Pawlenty called out to the young man with the video camera. “I am,” William Schoell said as Pawlenty passed by, working his way through the crowd at Carey’s Café and Restaurant in Cherokee, Iowa. “We missed you,” Pawlenty said. “Where’ve you been?” “Going where my boss tells me.” Pawlenty laughed, a note of relief in his voice. Schoell, an Iowa-based video tracker for the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, had been following the former Minnesota governor around the state since May.

Last Night Was Santorum's Iowa Do-Over, And He Nailed It
February 08, 2012

Watching the results trickle in last night—when Rick Santorum carried two of three contests and was closing in on the third—I couldn’t help feeling like we were back in Iowa. Back then, Santorum was surging, Newt Gingrich was fading, and Mitt Romney was laboring to improve on his 2008 vote totals.

Did The Liberal Media Censor Michele Bachmann?
November 14, 2011

Pity Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota congresswoman and certifiable presidential aspirant saw her poll numbers rise throughout the summer, but when autumn came, those heady days ended and she fell—as must all false messiahs of these unsustainable GOP boomlets—back to Earth. Now, with poll numbers hovering around 4 percent, she is reduced to trading insults with journalists.

Did The Liberal Media Censor Michele Bachmann?
November 14, 2011

Pity Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota congresswoman and certifiable presidential aspirant saw her poll numbers rise throughout the summer, but when autumn came, these heady days ended and she fell—as must all false messiahs of these unsustainable GOP boomlets—back to Earth. Now, with poll numbers hovering around 4 percent, she is reduced to trading insults with journalists.

The Turnaround Men
October 26, 2011

Just after dawn on a cool morning in September 2008, two FBI agents and a police officer walked into the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and took the security elevator up to the twenty-third floor, where they knocked on the door of a high-roller haven known as the Grand Lakeview Suite. A Minnesota businessman named Tom Petters answered wrapped in a bathrobe. After a moment’s hesitation, he invited them in.

Thomson on Films: Cliff Robertson and the Sordid Ways of Old Hollywood
September 15, 2011

Cliff Robertson died the other day. He was 88, and I suppose he was what is called an establishment figure. Long ago he had won an Oscar for his performance in Charly (1968) about a retarded man who is given an experimental drug that lets him find genius (and his doctor, Claire Bloom) but then slips back to being a fool, and he was perfectly OK in the film if you can manage to sit through it now, in which case you may surmise that nearly any actor in that begging role might have won the Oscar.

Perry v. Bachmann: TNR’s Scientific Analysis of Who’s Crazier
September 12, 2011

Ever since Rick Perry declared his candidacy, Bachmann has struggled to emerge from his shadow. Once the undisputed craziest candidate who had a plausible shot at the nomination, the congresswoman from Minnesota has suddenly had to contend with a remarkable string of wacky revelations from her Texan opponent. One thing is clear: Between the two of them, there’s more craziness than Ron Paul fans at a straw poll. But who’s the most off-the-wall?

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