Unlike Nolan, 68, who last sat in Congress in 1980 representing a different corner of the state, and Anderson, 35, whose elective record consists of one term on the Duluth City Council, Clark at age 51 is in the prime of her political life. She practices a brand of politics akin to that of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar -- moderate, pragmatic, Minnesota-minded, people-focused.
A nonprofit attorney by profession, Clark was a standout as a state senator for five sessions, representing a St. Cloud district that had long been in Republican hands. She was elected deputy majority leader by her peers after just one year in office. She exhibited quick grasp of the complexities of the state budget, wide-ranging policy interests, and the pragmatism and interpersonal skills necessary to turn ideas into legislative action.
Much has been made -- too much, we'd say -- of Clark's decision to move to the Eighth District after failing in 2010 to unseat Sixth District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Talent ought to matter more than residency when judging capacity for leadership.
Talent and levelheadedness should always be deciding factors.
Read Strib to see why they select Quist. That pairing, Parry and Quist, seems a match where if I were a First District Republican I would have a hard time making a ballot choice; talent and levelheadedness being important considerations.