The XX Factor

Hotelier Jim Graves Wants to Make Minnesota Boring Again

Michele Bachmann Warns That a “Spiritual Hurricane” Is Coming

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages

This is about the time when the Internet starts to demand that you form strong opinions about trivial questions of process and policy that really have nothing to do with your interests. We, who write the Internet, will shame you into arbitrary opinion forming not because our economic wellbeing depends on it but because it’s your civic duty to, as they say, “keep up.” You must now form an opinion, for example, whether this gentleman resembles Peter Gallagher, as the indispensible Twin Cities Business Magazine insists. The answer is no. But you’ll probably still have feelings about him, because he is running against Michele Bachmann, a woman about whom people tend to have opinions.


A poll shows Democrat Jim Graves nearly tied with Michele Bachmann in the race to represent Minnesota’s most conservative district, but then, it was a poll conducted by Democratic pollsters at the behest of the Graves campaign. Still, the portion of the media that runs on Bachmann-hate finds itself thrilling to the possibility. Graves, judging from this smart Mother Jones profile, would appear to be a moderate, market-loving, pro-choice, libertarianish Democrat who also happens to be a wealthy hotelier. He loves America so much he butchered its name and slapped it across 200 mid-range hotels in the Midwest. The founder of AmericInn pointedly does not think that Clinton aide Huma Abedin has been corrupted by the Muslim Brotherhood, which helps distinguish him from his opponent. He uses the word “gosh” to great effect, as in, marriage is “the best thing that ever happened to me in my life.. And by gosh, why can’t everybody enjoy that?”

Graves likes to hit the quondam presidential candidate for courting the broader American public whilst ignoring her lowly constituents, but she has always been divisive, and she always ekes out a win. Her prodigious fundraising capabilities will not be unhelpful. And if Bachmann’s witch-hunting, hurricane-anthropomorphizing ways haven’t yet driven constituents from her corner, one wonders what will.