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Esquire offers its election choices

Candidates nationwide have a reason to carry around the November issue of Esquire - and no, it's not because Halle Barry was named "Sexiest Woman Alive." Similarly, it's also not because the publication is running provocative pictures of the Osca...

Mathern

Candidates nationwide have a reason to carry around the November issue of Esquire - and no, it's not because Halle Barry was named "Sexiest Woman Alive." Similarly, it's also not because the publication is running provocative pictures of the Oscar winner and other lovely ladies.

Esquire endorsed candidates in every major race, from the highly anticipated presidential campaign to North Dakota's voice in the U.S. House. No real surprise there; sitting Democrat Earl Pomeroy got the bump over Republican challenger Duane Sand.

"If you had to picture a textbook North Dakota politician, you'd come up with something close to Pomeroy," the blurb said. "Socially center-right, but a devout protectionist on agriculture issues."

Even less of a surprise, the glossy picked Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain for president. In fact, Democrats earned endorsements at a rate of more than a 2.6-to-1 over Republicans.

The rag did see some red.

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Norm Coleman, Minnesota's Republican senator, earned support over former comedian-turned liberal commentator Al Franken. It referred to the incumbent as: "... a centrist uncomfortable in a right-wing party ... exactly the kind of Republican Democrats can work with."

There were harsh words for Franken. The magazine called him "... the sort of knee-jerk partisan that both parties should avoid like disease. Anyway, we preferred his earlier, funny work."

And if you thought that was bad, look at what they said of Minnesota's District 6 Rep., Michele Bachmann, who landed on the "10 Worst" list.

"One gets the impression that if, in the name of 'traditional values,' Bachmann could rescind the vote for women, she would," the magazine states of the state's first Republican congresswoman. "Her vacant, wild eyes recall a doomsday prophet, or one of Charlie Manson's girls. Equal parts religious hack and party hack, she's got spunk and not much else."

Closer to home, Minnesota's District 7 Rep. Collin Peterson gets a better review.

"Why the GOP is fronting an opponent here is a mystery; Peterson's essentially a populist Republican, big on gun rights and small on taxes."

For those who didn't get the Esky bump, I'm sure there are other publications just waiting to weigh in on their favorite political prospect.

Like Tim Mathern, who was passed over for North Dakota's incumbent Republican governor, John Hoeven. The progressive Catholic Democrat may catch the eye of Sojourners and its "biblical call to social justice."

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Sand seems to be making as much of a career running for a North Dakota congressional seat as he did in stints in the Navy. Combine that with a mobile past and Sand is a perfect candidate for the Soldier of Fortune endorsement.

And what magazine will get behind Franken, the sometimes outraged comic?

"Mad Magazine, of course," said Beth Postema at the Fargo Public Library. That works - in so many different ways.

Who can blame Esquire for picking Obama when he clearly looked like a model during Tuesday's debates?

Likewise, McCain seems to be an obvious match for the print version of AARP.

And Sarah Palin, his running mate? Any candidate who can field-dress a moose is perfect fit for Field & Stream. Perhaps she could be the cover model for their "Sexiest Woman Alive" issue.

Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

or jlamb@forumcomm.com

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Mathern

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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