Dave Knudson and Thad Wasson were the only major candidates for office who didn’t make the event. Which in at least Dave’s case was surprising – this was a great crowd for candidates to make contacts and to cultivate relationships – there were some real power players there. And Thad, as the darkhorse in the race, if you want to be viewed as a serious candidate, you need to make these types of events [Pat Powers, "Another Quick Hit from Last Night's Republican Jewish Coalition Event," Dakota War College, 2009.10.05].
I love the smell of elitism in the morning. Talk to the voters all you want, but in the eyes of the GOP, if you won't spend $100 to eat dinner at the country club with "power players" and listen to a Bush flack who thinks investigating torture is "disgusting," you're not a serious politician.
Oh well. Maybe folks who have to clock in on Monday morning (Dakota Dunes–Piedmont travel time: six hours) just don't get to play with the GOP big boys.
(You have my sympathy, Thad: I won't spend $100 to take my whole family to dinner.)