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Bradley Stumps in Minnesota
By Laura McCallum
September 16, 1999
Part of MPR's Campaign 2000 coverage.
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Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley stumped for campaign volunteers and money in Minneapolis yesterday. Some recent polls show the former New Jersey senator neck-and-neck with his only other Democratic rival - Vice President Al Gore, and Bradley has picked up the backing of some prominent Minnesota DFLers.

Bradley's low-key style has some pundits wondering whether he has enough charisma to energize voters, but his supporters tend to cite qualities such as character and integrity.
AT SABATHANI COMMUNITY CENTER in south Minneapolis, Bradley fired up an enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 Minnesotans who may volunteer for his campaign. He's bolstered by polls released this week in New Hampshire and New York, showing him in a statistical dead heat with Gore among likely Democratic primary voters in those states.
Bradley: I've been out there about nine months running, and I think things are beginning to move. I truly think things are beginning to move.
Bradley talked about his agenda for the White House: improved race relations, environmental protection, campaign-finance reform, and economic growth that includes prosperity for working families and farmers.
Bradley: I would hope because of what we did over four or eight years, that we were able to move our collective humanity maybe a half inch forward. That we were able to take the issue of racial understanding in America, and bring it to the point where it's the ultimate common sense for every American.
Bradley also pledged to reduce child poverty. He says one way to help the 14 million American children living in poverty is to expand health insurance to more families, and he says he'll unveil specific proposals in the next few weeks. Bradley talked with reporters before his volunteer organizing meeting, folding his 6-foot-5 frame under a small table and sipping bottled water. He was asked whether he's learned anything from the success of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.
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Listento Bill Bradley's speech to supporters in Minneapolis.
Bradley: I would not say that he is the model for how I want to run for president, but I will also say that he reminds me every time I see him that it's important for every candidate to be himself, that you should not be artificial, you should be who you are, with all your strengths and all your weaknesses, and be direct with the people.
Bradley's low-key style has some pundits wondering whether he has enough charisma to energize voters, but his supporters tend to cite qualities such as character and integrity. 18-year-old Ryan Solovjovs of Minneapolis - sporting a New York Knicks t-shirt - says he's impressed with Bradley's ideas.
Solovjovs: I respected him as a senator and as a Knick - when he wore the blue and orange. And I was glad I found out about this, and I signed up along with him, and I hope that I'll meet him in the future again.
Like many of the people at the organizing meeting, Solovjovs was recruited after he asked for more information on the Bradley campaign at the DFL state-fair booth. Former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer says Bradley appeals to Democrats across the political spectrum.
Latimer: Anyone who could pull at the same time Moynihan of New York, Kerrey of Nebraska and Wellstone of Minnesota must have a universal quality. The man - he does have something tapped into that which is American, rather than anything hyphenated.
Latimer joins several other prominent DFLers behind Bradley, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, State Senator Doug Johnson and former gubernatorial candidate Tony Bouza. Al Gore also has the backing of many officeholders, including most of Minnesota's Congressional delegation and Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe.

The state DFL hasn't done any polling to gauge the level of support for Bradley and Gore, but both are clearly gunning for Minnesota voters and money. Gore raised more than $200,000 at a fundraiser at the Minneapolis Club in July, and Bradley was hoping to raise at least $100,000 at the same location last night, through a $250 per person fundraiser and a $1,000 a plate dinner.