Feels like the '08 race has already begun? Here MPR rewrites some history:
While Coleman backs his party most of the time, he has broken ranks and sided with Democrats on several issues, such as Pell Grant funding, Community Development Block Grants and against drilling for oil in an Alaska wildlife refuge.
"In many ways, being more of centrist here, I've got some added clout, because you've got to get to 60 in the Senate," he said. "When they're at 51, I'm going to be needed."
In his first 2 years as a Senator, Coleman voted with his party same day:
What else was in the bill? ANWR. Coleman wanted to end debate on the bill. Coleman wanted to vote for the bill. Coleman, in other words, was clearly ready to vote in favor of drilling in ANWR.
Coleman was saved later that same day, by the filibuster he opposed. A compromise was reached and the defense appropriations bill was amended. The amendment passed 48 to 45, with Coleman voting "Yea". The vote removed the provisions allowing drilling in ANWR. The amendment also removed "Division D, the Distribution of Revenues and Disaster Assistance." Of particular interest to Minnesotans and all people opposed to hypocrisy, the amendment removed section 2 of division D which provided funding for LIHEAP.
So, on December 21, Smilin' Norm issued a press release saying how gung-ho he was to vote for LIHEAP without mentioning that he'd also be voting for ANWR. Then, THEN!, he issues a second press release trumpeting his vote against drilling in ANWR without mentioning that he was also voting against LIHEAP. There's spin. There's dishonesty. There's hypocrisy. You decide what you think of Coleman's dueling releases.
Sorry for quoting myself at such length.