Finley Peter Dunne, a humorous writer at the turn of the 20th Century, created the character of Mr. Dooley, an Irish-American saloon keeper who would expound wittily on the social issues of the day. One of Mr. Dooley's best-known quips is as true today as it was back in Teddy Roosevelt's day: "Politics ain't beanbag."
That was very true Saturday as Al Quist and Mike Parry battled for the First District Republican endorsement to challenge Rep. Tim Walz in November. The convention took 23 ballots before deciding, around 2 a.m. Sunday, to adjourn and meet again in a couple of weeks to try to pick a candidate. Parry and Quist, backed by loyal delegates largely unwilling to make a switch, battled vigorously to present themselves as the better choice.
It might seem that the First District delegates, deadlocked as they are, could decide to make no endorsement and let the candidate be selected in the First District primary election. That, however, would mean months of campaigning for Parry and Quist, time and money spent battling each other instead of Walz.
Walz already has a huge advantage in fundraising. Whoever challenges him will be hard pressed to finance a campaign. The challengers can't afford a primary battle.