In Minnesota, elections have always featured a certain pride of place. Politicians and voters alike boasted of a state known for its clean air, its clean water and its clean politics. "Minnesota is a special state," said former Vice President Walter Mondale, the leading protege of Hubert "The Happy Warrior" Humphrey.
But in the election of 1990, the state that produced "Clean Gene" McCarthy and Humphrey's politics of joy is setting another kind of standard altogether.
Let Louisiana voters flirt with the former Klansman and a Texas nominee recall the Mexican prostitutes of his youth. Minnesota has a Republican gubernatorial contender accused of swimming nude with teen-age girls, one of them his daughter.
"To be fooling around with 13-year-old girls is different than to be chasing women," says Bill Kubicek, a longtime Democratic activist here. "This is just a crazy, unusual thing. They ought to put a different measure on it."