UPDATE: Some clarifications on the float blow.
The Doug Burgum campaign is in Mandan today for the Rodeo Days Parade:
— Burgum for ND (@DougForDakota) July 4, 2016
Parades are a big deal in the world of North Dakota politics. Voters in our state like to see and hear their candidates in person, and parades are a good way for candidates to reach a lot of people.
So it’s kind of awkward for Burgum, then, that elsewhere in the parade is the official float for the North Dakota Democrats which features, along with campaign signs for their liberal candidates, campaign signs for Burgum as well.
These photos were sent in by a reader who tells me he voted for Burgum (click for a larger view):
This is a pretty bold statement from the Democrats. Even though Burgum enjoyed a heavy crossover vote from Democrats on the primary ballot, he has spent millions on campaign messaging painting himself as something of an arch conservative (on fiscal issues, at least).
What is it that the liberals are seeing in Burgum that makes them support him this way?
“It’s hard to say who will be more embarrassed,” the SAB reader who sent me the photos this morning said. That’s insightful, I think.
Should Burgum be embarrassed that so many liberals think his campaign as a conservative was something less than authentic?
Or should Democrats be embarrassed that so many in their base are supporting someone who describes himself as a conservative Republican?
All we really have to go on right now is Burgum’s campaign messaging, which has been a lot of heavy breathing about the “good old boys club” and not a lot of specifics on public policy.
When Burgum starts getting specific about policies I guess we’ll know who is right. His Republican supporters or his Democratic supporters. But I think the candidate needs to address this, sooner rather than later.
By the way, how do you think Marvin Nelson – the guy who is the actual Democratic candidate for governor – feels about this?
You will notice that there is not a single Nelson for Governor campaign sign visible on that float.
UPDATE: Democratic House candidate Chase Iron Eyes provides this clarification on Facebook, claiming it wasn’t an official Democratic party float. Just the official float of an endorsed Democratic candidate…because that’s different?
Also, they apparently added some Marvin Nelson signs after the photos above were taken. I’ve modified the headline to reflect the fact that these Democrats eventually did get around to touting their own gubernatorial candidate despite the Burgum signs.