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Remembering Paul Wellstone, cont'd

I'm not the only young person Wellstone inspired to go into politics. A reader writes in to tell of the impact Wellstone had on her career choices -- even after his death:

By the time I started college in Minnesota and came to realize the effect he'd had on Minnesota and progressive politics, Norm Coleman was well into his US Senate term. I wanted to learn more about the life of this politician who was so loved that I'd see Wellstone! stickers on the bumpers of cars made well after his death. In doing so I became politicized, transforming the vague sense of frustration I felt into something useful, learning about grassroots organizing and public policy.

Now, having moved halfway across the country to work in the labor movement, I sometimes get frustrated with the politics and the struggles, with defending my career choice. Thanks for reminding me that because of the politics, struggles, and endless defenses Paul Wellstone had to make that it is "easier to be a liberal today, to be a progressive, to be proud."

By Ezra Klein  | October 25, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
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I didn't know much about Paul Wellstone growing up. I lived in Illinois, went to school in Ohio, never really knew much about the Senators that weren't in my state. But about a year and a half ago, I moved up to Minneapolis. Within a week, I was working as an activist.

You cannot overstate the effect that Paul Wellstone had on young political Minnesotans. So many of the people I worked with and talked to in my time at that non-profit cited Wellstone as a reason they were involved. Seeing a Wellstone sticker or sign while canvassing was a flashing light that this person would really appreciate what we were doing. I can't count the number of people I talked to that lamented his loss and the brand of politics he stood for. We had Wellstone stickers on the walls of our office as inspiration. As your reader pointed out, it's still not uncommon to see a Wellstone bumber sticker around the Twin Cities.

Posted by: yawgmoth6139 | October 25, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Dude, you're not "in politics." You're in the press. If you think you're in politics, then the vast right-wing conspiracy was more or less right about JournoList.

Posted by: kleefest | October 25, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Pretty funny considering that Minnesota elects the most bizarre and ineffective politicians of any state in the country.

Wellstone was a great talk show type guy, like Bernie Sanders, but of course no one followed him.

Jessie Ventura and Al Franken, PLEASE! There's a reason nut cases run in that state, and it's not because they like the weather.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Paul Wellstone voted for DOMA, unlike:

Akaka, Boxer, Feingold, Feinstein, Inouye, Kennedy, Kerrey, Kerry, Moseley-Braun, Moynihan, Pell, Robb, Simon and Wyden.

Seems like someone didn't get the memo on progressive policy.

Posted by: mdg1111 | October 25, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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